DALLAS — The president of the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization and the Combined Law Enforcement Association held a news conference Wednesday to call for the termination of Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall.
"She is very incompetent,” said George Aranda, NLLEO President.
He said Hall was never qualified for the job, which requires someone with seven years experience as a chief. Hall had three years when she was hired. Aranda said the department needs new leadership.
His organizations represent hundreds of officers.
"We need to go in a new direction,” he said.
Aranda said Hall has demoralized officers. He also criticized Hall's close relationship with activist Dominique Alexander, who is currently under investigation by the department for domestic violence.
In 2011, Alexander pleaded guilty to a charge of serious bodily injury to a child. He's also has led multiple protests, including the one on July 7, when a lone shooter ambushed police, killing four Dallas officers and a DART officer.
Hall rankled feathers when she posed for a picture with him in her office.
“That left a lot of dissension and a lot of anger," Aranda said.
Alexander came to Hall’s defense and spoke about their close relationship. He also boasted about how he helped influence Hall's handling of the Amber Guyger investigation. Guyer is accused of murder in the shooting of Botham Jean in his own apartment.
"At the end of the day, it was a communication between me and Chief Hall by saying this one thing, 'Chief Hall, if something happens, I am coming to your door."
Alexander said it all boils down to race and that the only reason NLLEO and CLEAT want Hall gone is because she's black and a female.
It’s important to note that NLLEO was the only organization to stand with Chief David Brown when others wanted him fired. Brown was also black.
Aranda listed multiple things he says Hall mishandled, including the disbanding of the vice unit, the demotions of top commanders and the restructuring of the department.
“Some of these commanders who just gave up and just felt like this is a sinking ship and we need to go somewhere else," he said.
He also outlined the increase in violent crime that has hit Dallas. This year, the homicide rate is expected to be one of the highest in more than a decade.
"She's in over her head,” Aranda said.
Saying she inherited a department that was already in disarray and hasn’t had time to fix it, the Dallas Black Police Association came to her defense.
"Two years is a short time to inherit the mess she inherited. We want to blame this on her but no way could we blame this on her,” said Terrence Hopkins, president of BPA.
But Aranda said the buck stops with her and that she is ultimately the one in charge. He said he doesn't have confidence she can turn the department around.
City Manager T.C. Broadnax released the following statement in support for Hall:
I am confident that Chief Hall and the dedicated officers of the Dallas Police Department are focused and committed to ensuring that the safety of our residents is a top priority.
Chief Hall’s strategic approach to restructuring DPD has helped maximize resources and align the department to be more responsive to the needs of our community. Through her leadership, Chief Hall has worked to improve efficiencies within the department, provide high-quality service to every Dallas resident, enhance the department’s community engagement and outreach efforts, and address crime more proactively.
As I have previously shared, Chief Hall has my continued support, and I have full confidence in her ability to continue leading the department.
Full statement from the Black Police Association president:
The Black Police Association of Greater Dallas is firm and unwavering in its support of Police Chief Hall. We feel Chief Hall has been under an orchestrated attack ever since her hire. Chief Hall inherited one of the most volatile police departments of all times and has done a stellar job attempting to right this troubled ship.
It is always a challenge for those who stand for right when others do not. I encourage the citizens of Dallas, the Dallas City Council, the City Manager’s Office, and the Office of the Mayor to continue to support this chief, who has done nothing but attempt to make the proper changes to not only clean the Dallas Police Department but to promote it in a positive light.