Mobile NAACP president reacts to grand jury decision of Jawan Dallas case

Officers were cleared by a Mobile County Grand Jury.
Reactions are pouring in after a Mobile County Grand Jury closed the case in the death of Jawan Dallas.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 9:48 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Reactions are pouring in after a Mobile County Grand Jury closed the case in the death of Jawan Dallas.

The grand jury made the decision that officers were not responsible for the 36-year-old’s death when he was tased twice during a fight with officers in July.

The case has sparked outrage across the community, as people called for more transparency from the Mobile Police Department.

Next week, Mobile city council members will be discussing changes to an ordinance that could make that happen.

The public meeting will take place on Tuesday.

The purpose of the meeting is “to discuss proposed amendments to Chapter 46, “Police Department and Law Enforcement”, of the Mobile City Code regarding changes to the availability of law enforcement agency recordings when properly requested without contradiction to other applicable laws.”

Something Jawan Dallas’ family has been trying to do for the last several months.

It was a 911 call that triggered this chain of events four months ago.

“Mobile county 9-1-1 what’s the location of the emergency?” the dispatcher asked.

“There are officers here and they have had to wrestle some people to the ground and stuff. You might want to send a back-up for them,” the woman who called 911 said.

Dallas was tased twice by a Mobile police officer during a struggle.

He died at the hospital.

For months, protests and demands for transparency have centered around the investigation.

On Thursday, the officers were cleared by a Mobile County Grand Jury.

“This morning that grand jury reported and found that the responding officers were not criminally liable for the death of Jawan Dallas,” District Attorney Keith Blackwood said.

Blackwood says the case is now closed.

Mobile Branch NAACP President Robert Clopton was displeased with the outcome.

“From an NAACP perspective, we are disappointed. We’re disappointed due to the fact that we feel that it was an injustice perpetrated upon this young man and that his death was in vain,” Clopton said.

Blackwood says Dallas’ death was caused by underlying medical conditions and drugs in his system, not by the taser.

Clopton says that even though the case is closed there are still some unanswered questions.

“If this young man had not been tased, would he be alive today is my question? If this young man had committed a crime, if he had committed a crime, then why wasn’t he allowed due process?” Clopton asked.

This case is one of four deadly officer-involved encounters this year with Mobile Police.

The most recent prompted Mayor Sandy Stimpson to step in and place an immediate ban on pre-dawn search warrants.

16-year-old Randall Adjessom was shot and killed during a SWAT raid.

Police Chief Paul Prine says he pointed a laser-sighted pistol at officers.

The family has already viewed the body camera footage.

Clopton, like many others, wants more transparency from the Mobile Police Department.

“At what point is police reform in Mobile which includes training, de-escalation, what steps are going to be taken here in Mobile to decrease the number of African Americans that are being killed right now at the hands of police?” Clopton said.

Jawan’s mother Christine Dallas says she’s not ready to speak on the grand jury decision but says her lawyer will be sending out a statement soon.

It’s unclear when the family will view the body camera footage.