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To:

Collette Flanagan, Meeting Participants, Supporters of Justice for Clinton Allen

From: Stephen Benavides Date: April 18, 2013

RE: Seeking a Criminal Indictment, Civil Rights Violation, Request for Consent Decree/Resignation of Chief of Police, Filing the Office of the Police Monitor I am unable to be at the meeting tonight, but I wanted to propose a four point plan which has been developed over years of hard work by community organizers, but which has never been put on paper. This is by no means exhaustive, and is a first attempt at clarifying the process to achieve relief for the family of Clinton Allen, and for other families subject to the same senseless violence meted out by police across the U.S. In my opinion there are four different efforts that must occur, either simultaneously or sequentially, in order to pressure the state effectively. Each of these four efforts does that in a different way: I. Seeking a Criminal Indictment a. Dallas Police Officers are rarely, if ever indicted resulting from incidents of officer involved shootings. The most apparent reason for that is that the police protect their own through a biased Internal Affairs/Grand Jury interaction. In order to increase the legal probability of an indictment we must support the effort to identify potential witnesses, contact those witnesses, and have those witnesses sign sworn statements. b. In cases where the toxicology report shows drug use by the victim, an independent toxicology report or statement provided by a professional must refute the findings of that report, or more importantly, contest the effects of the substance on the individual at the time of the incident.

c. A report that summarizes the circumstances of the case must be generated and release to the media and general public as quickly as possible. The report should include important information from the autopsy report, toxicology report, gathered witness statements, any and all police reports, and other correspondence with the state. The report must identify discrepancies that exist. d. All important information should be packaged into a complete file and submitted as an independent investigative report to the Crimes Against Persons Division, Internal Affairs Division, Public Integrity Division, the District Attorneys Office, and the Intake/Grand Jury Division. The reports should be emailed, faxed and/or sent through return requested certified mail. All reports should also be submitted to the local FBI Office, as well as the Texas Rangers, with a request for an independent investigation II. Civil Rights Violation a. 42 U.S.C 1983 allows for a government entitys immunity to be bypassed, and have suit brought against them for civil rights violations. In order to file a case originating from Dallas, TX, the attorney must be certified in the Northern District of Texas; U.S. District Court. This is a federal court, which has jurisdiction over suits involving government entities such as the City of Dallas and Dallas Police Department. b. There is typically a series of meetings with any number of attorneys before any action is taken. This will be frustrating for the family and may take several months or a year before anything is filed. The statute of limitations for filing a federal suit against a government entity is two years from the date of the incident.

c. The end result of a successful 42 U.S.C. 1983 suit will come in the form of financial compensation for the family. While a successfully criminal indictment strongly supports any resulting civil suit, the civil suit does not undo a No-Bill. d. Send all information and the generated report to the local FBI Civil Rights Office, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the Texas ACLU, National ACLU, NAACP, and the National Lawyers Guild for review.

III.

Request for Consent Decree a. A consent decree is an agreement between the DOJ and a Police Department or other party subject to the suit, and is submitted in writing to a federal court. Once approved by the judge, it becomes legally binding. b. The DOJ initiates the consent decree process by filing a civil suit alleging the Department was engaging in a pattern or practice of excessive force, false arrests and unreasonable searches and seizures. The consent decrees main purpose is to eliminate the pattern or practice within the Department. c. On May 8, 1987 the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundredth Congress convened a hearing on Police use of Deadly Force. In this report, and in another independent report generated on behalf of the City of Dallas, but severely critical of the Dallas Police, a list of policy changes was proposed. To date none of those policies have been implemented. d. Use the inability or unwillingness of the Chief of Police to follow through with proposed policies that protect our community as reasoning to call for his resignation. File any ethics complaints at the local, county, state, and federal level. e. A report detailing how the policy changes would have protected innocent lives, as well as a recent history of police shootings, excessive force, and illegal search and seizures should be generated and submitted to supporting local elected officials with the aim of convening a new congressional subcommittee, as well as requesting from the DOJ that a consent decree suit be filed against the Police Department.

IV.

Filing of the Office of the Police Monitor a. The Office of the Police Monitor is a proposed ordinance that would create an independent investigative board with the responsibility of generating and submitting reports of officer involved shootings, or other alleged civil rights violations. b. When the Grand Jury responsible for determining if there is enough evidence to indict a police officer and set trial, are fed evidence from a single source, there is a guarantee that bias in the decision making process will exist. The Office of the Police Monitor is a powerful local deterrent to the bias created by the interaction of the Grand Jury and Internal Affairs, and will act as an oversight committee.
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c. The Office of the Police Monitor may act as a deterrent to police violence, excessive force, and harassment, and has overwhelming support from target communities. d. In order for the Office of the Police Monitor to become law, it must be initiated as a petition referendum item and gain a majority of votes at a special election. Details and Process for how that would work is attached.

Referendum-Initiative Process with Supporting State and Local Statutes


There have been many questions on the subject of how to initiate a referendum-initiative in the City of Dallas in reference to the Office of the Police Monitor. This letter provides a single source for state and local statutes which dictate how a referendum-initiative would work. I. Chapter XVIII Sec. 11 Dallas City Code (Initiatives and Referendums): http://www.dallascityhall.com/pdf/cao/01Chartr.pdf 5 signatures of qualified voters needed to file Intent to Circulate Petition Signatures to be turned in 60 days following filing of Intent City Sec. has 30 to validate signatures City Council has 20 days to pass ordinance, or set special election Majority needed to pass ordinance; Effective immediately if passed Cannot be challenged for 6 months

II.

Initial Time Frame (Sec. 4.02 and Sec. 277.02 of Tex. Election Code) All signatures must be obtained and filed within 180 days of first person who signs. All signatures earlier than the 180th day before the petition is filed will be invalidated. http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/EL/htm/EL.277.htm

III.

Petition Form (Sec. 277.02 of Tex. Election Code) Signatures are to be in ink or indelible pencil.

Must have printed name, signature, and residence address by street and/or number otherwise sufficient to identify place, signers date of birth, and date of signing. Each petition needs names and addresses of same 5 electors (the committee of petitioners) who are responsible for circulation and filing of petition. Each separate petition paper or page must have an affidavit (signature) of the circulator attached; showing that he/she personally circulated that paper That it bears a stated number of signatures, All signatures were signed in his presence, and Circulator believes signatures are genuine signatures Affidavit must be signed before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths. More than 5 persons can circulate the petition, but all circulators must make the affidavit

IV.

Submission to Voters: (Tex. Local Gov. Code 26.042; Tex. Election Code 41.001) Set for special election if: Council does not pass initiative ordinance, Council passes ordinance in a different form from petition. Submitted to voters not less than 30 or more than 60 days after final Council vote. Must have special election if not within period of regular election. Must wait until next uniform election date if none falls within period.