‘We Warned Them’: Nearly 700 protesters taken into custody in Dallas for blocking a major highway
Nearly 700 people were taken into custody and hit with arrest charges after blocking a major highway in Dallas last month.
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall had 647 protesters handcuffed after they blocked the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, The Daily Wire reports. On June 1, the large group was marching to honor George Floyd, an African-American who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) July 20, 2020
The following day, at a press conference, Chief Hall claimed the demonstrators were warned their actions were against the law. As reported by FOX 4, she said:
“We warned them. They did not stop. They decided to take a knee on the bridge and hold their hands up and say don’t shoot. So one should be surprised because my statement is: If you break the law, we will arrest you.”
To those who questioned Hall’s decision to detain the protesters, she said:
“There are many who question and are not happy with the decisions that I made on yesterday. Let me be clear, I am not here to make people happy. My job and our job in law enforcement is to keep this city safe. We have pledged that. We will do that. And that is our goal.”
Although Chief Hall acknowledges the demonstrators were peaceful, she insists they broke the law.
As she describes, at first, the group began to walk and was supported by the department. However, when they began to enter the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the protesters were warned that if they continue, their actions would be against the law. Hall pointed out to the penal code, explaining:
“They are not allowed to walk in the middle of the roadway or freeway or overpass.”
Chief Renee Hall finished her speech with the words:
“I just want to let this community and the world know that we continue to say his name. And I ask that you also continue to say his name and know that we understand and that is George Floyd.”
Last Sunday, protesters in Rochester, New York, also blocked a major highway during an anti-police demonstration.
However, they were not detained, arrested, or charged. Instead, they were surrounded by officers for protection.
— Rich Healey (@r_heals13) July 19, 2020
Furthermore, on July 19, during the anti-police demonstration, two vehicles belonging to Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies were torched. The cause and the motive for the arson remain unclear.