Dallas Chief Revamps Police Protocols for First Amendment Activity

Hall says now is the time to change the rulebook and provide safety assurance for peaceful demonstrators

(DALLAS, July 22, 2020) – Wednesday, Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall issued an updated general order immediately revamping the department’s protocols and procedures in the management of future peaceful demonstrations in the City. The most notable modifications involve restrictions on the use of non-lethal tools such as tear gas and kinetic impact projectiles.

Across the country, police departments are re-examining their use of kinetic impact projectiles. DPD deployed these less-lethal tools during Dallas protests during the early part of June. Chief Hall’s order will dramatically limit the use of these tools in future peaceful protest situations.

Specifically, Chief Hall stated that tear gas will no longer be used to deter or control the movement of peaceful demonstrators. Additionally, pepper ball or foam kinetic impact projectiles will no longer be deployed into crowds.

Chief Hall emphasized, however, that in the event of criminal acts such as burglary, vandalism, or violence against people and property including attacks on police officers, tear gas may be available with approval of the Chief of Police or the Chief’s designee.

“SWAT must continue to have reasonable and necessary tools in its continuum of force options,” said Hall, “but there will now be limits on their appropriate use. They can be used to control violence but not peaceful demonstrations.”

Chief Hall and her command staff are continuing to review videos and written reports collected from the events in downtown Dallas between May 29, 2020 through June 1, 2020.

“There is an extraordinary amount of information that continues to flow in to the department,” stated Hall. “If you have photo or video evidence or other information we need to consider, please use the iWatch Dallas app or email pio@dpd.dallascityhall.com by July 31.