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Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Mayor Johnson Pushes Back Against Defunding Police

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Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson | Image by KWTX

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As his reelection bid gets underway, City of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is highlighting his record of refusing to support calls to defund the police during his term.

He tweeted on Wednesday night that the number one thing he was “glad [he] didn’t fall for” as mayor was the movement to “Defund the Police.”

The next morning, he appeared at the opening breakfast of the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin — which The Dallas Express attended — and spoke about his record as mayor and his plan for re-election.

He was asked about Dallas’ approach to crime and the supposed decline in violent crime, although in the month of August, violent crime increased from the same time last year, according to city data reviewed by The Dallas Express.

Nevertheless, many other major cities have had crime rates spike dramatically. Mayor Johnson suggested that the difference in Dallas was because he “did something that’s not politically smart, but works for people, which is not let an ‘either-or’ situation occur when the solution is really ‘both-and.'”

Looking back at the time “that ‘Defund the Police’ was bandied about,” Johnson suggested that certain groups wanted “to make people pick: Do you support your police department, are you a back-the-blue person? Or are you a community person? They want to pit those two groups against each other,” he said.

However, Johnson said he refused to accept that dichotomy and proffered that “the truth is — and the answer that makes no one happy is — saying we actually have to do both of these things.”

He emphasized, “We actually do have to support our police department, make sure they have what they need.”

Reflecting on his background growing up in the West and South sides of Dallas, Mayor Johnson explained, “It’s because I grew up in the neighborhoods I grew up in, it’s because I live in the skin that I live in, that I know for a fact that cries to defund the police or underfund the police or get the police out, are not coming from those communities.

“Those communities, the communities I grew up in,” he continued, “are not saying we don’t want the police in our community. We are, we are the ones suffering the brunt of violent crime.”

A recent poll by The Dallas Express supports the mayor’s conclusion, finding that 58% of non-white respondents desired the city council to do more to combat crime. In comparison, only 44% of whites agreed.

When the moderator, the CEO of the Texas Tribune, suggested that the Defund the Police movement might just be “a campaign line from the other side,” Mayor Johnson immediately pushed back.

“It was a very real thing. There were very much people who wanted that,” Johnson asserted, alluding to protesters who showed up outside his house demanding a significant reduction in police funding.

“If you go back in time … the evidence is hiding in plain sight,” he said.

Mayor Johnson is also looking ahead to the upcoming mayoral election in May 2023; he believes his record deserves another term. Despite his previous party affiliation, he refuses to be classified as a Democrat and insisted instead that he is non-partisan.     

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John
John
9 days ago

He did not fall for the facists who want to remove roadblocks to taking over this country. These peoole are either facists or duped by them like what happened in Nazi Germany.

Alberto G
Alberto G
Reply to  John
8 days ago

What “road blocks” are you writing about?

ed lopez
ed lopez
9 days ago

Johnson has lost control of the city council and has become the city manager’s lap dog!

Get Real
Get Real
9 days ago

Defund the Police is an idiotic slogan.

Alberto G
Alberto G
Reply to  Get Real
8 days ago

It is an error in moniker, it should be “Reallocate Funds from the Police Budget to those agencies that know how to handle people whom the Police have no expertise to handle.”

Vanessa
Vanessa
Reply to  Get Real
7 days ago

Where have u been for the last 3 yrs?believe me, it is much much more than a slogan, i must say i am impressed that a mayor who purports to be non partisan is saying it out loud. Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Just make sure the DA’s ofc and the judges are not enacting dangerous reforms that allow criminals to use our justice system as a revolving door and terrorize our communities.

Alberto G
Alberto G
Reply to  Get Real
6 days ago

I agree. It should be “Reallocate funds to those agencies which are better prepared to deal with issues the police shouldn’t deal with (e.g., the mentally ill)” Take some of that cop money and reallocate it to, for example, social services.

Texas Rifle
Texas Rifle
8 days ago

I don’t really agree much with Mayor Johnson on alot of things. However, on this topic I support him 100%. I also challenge the statistic cited in this article that says white people support defunding the police. Crime is crime regardless of your ethnicity

Last edited 8 days ago by Texas Rifle
Alberto G
Alberto G
Reply to  Texas Rifle
6 days ago

It seems you don’t understand what ‘defuning the police’ means. See my comment above.

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