Black Police Association of Greater Dallas statement regarding the demotion of Ft. Worth P. D. Assistant Chief Abdul Prigden, and Deputy Chief Vance Keyes

By Thomas L. Glover, Sr. President, Black Police Association of Greater Dallas

Friday, May 26, 2017 — Dallas, TX – May 26, 2017 - The Black Police Association of Greater Dallas has a long and storied existence. One of our primary goals is to bridge the gap (real or perceived) between the community and law enforcement. We have received national and international recognition (Canada, England) for the thoughtful support of programs, issues, and events that enhance the development of strong police-and-community relationships. Conversely, we have openly condemned the behavior, issues, events, and actions that tend to destroy confidence and enlarge the gap between the community and law enforcement. As an organization, we have spoken out regarding issues and events that are not confined to Dallas. This includes Tulsa, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, New York City, etc. There have been no geographical limitations observed by us, when events, actions, or overt acts take place that damage community relations. Subsequently, we cannot sit idly by, and refrain from addressing the issues in Ft. Worth, that resulted in the demotion of two high-ranking African Americans within the Ft. Worth Police Department.

This entire episode is based on the premise that unknown individuals released video information, supporting the Jacqueline Craig’s version of events from December 21, 2016. The truth of the matter is that the Chief-of-Police should have released the video and redacted the identity of anyone who was legally protected. Transparency was an overused word but was underutilized. Actions similar to this led to the introduction of Senate Bill (#1201) during this legislative session. Senate Bill (#1201) would have prevented individuals from withholding information from the public, contained in body camera footage. The Ft. Worth Chief-of-Police, (or any other top officials) would be required to release the video information. Exceptions would include pending criminal charges. However, in the Ft. Worth incident, the Chief-of-Police is not fully transparent; he had his own version of the behavior’s classification and called it rudeness. When the video release dispels his assertions, he answers with an emotional response that led to an investigation that only centered on two high-ranking African Americans.  The end result is a tense and fractured relationship between many of the members of the community and the police department. The gap has widened, when so many in the Ft. Worth community have worked to mend the fences. Our brothers and sisters in the Ft. Worth Police Department, who sought (and will receive) our help, are now left with the daunting task of facing a leader who may or may not make decisions that are best for their community.

Regardless of race, gender, religion, or national origin, we cannot relax our expectations for what is right. EXCELLENCE AND FAIRNESS HAVE NO COLOR. When we fail to do what is right and ethical, we should not be able to punish, disparage, or negatively affect those who expose our sins. The demotions of two outstanding members of the Ft. Worth Police Department’s Command Staff on circumstantial, dis-jointed, and subjectively produced facts, lends itself to a very important question. What is the greater wrong, the fact that the Chief failed to be transparent and was misleading to the public through omission, or whistleblowing on the Chief for being disingenuous to the good citizens of Ft. Worth?

We, the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas profoundly disagree, and wholeheartedly condemn the demotion of Assistant Chief Abdul Prigden, and Deputy Chief Vance Keyes.

Thomas L. Glover, Sr.

President, Black Police Association of Greater Dallas