Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson blamed “outsiders” for the violence that occurred during protests over the past few days. Arrest reports paint an entirely different picture.
During a press conference on Tuesday with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Johnson said, “the violence, vandalism and theft that we saw committed by some groups of people over the weekend is not reflective of the city that I know,” the Texas Tribune reported. “And much of it was perpetrated by people who are not residents of the city of Dallas. They don’t pay taxes here. It’s not their property they’re destroying.”
However, arrest reports obtained by the Texas Tribune reveal nearly all of those arrested by Dallas Police officers between Friday and Monday morning were listed as residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Only seven of the 185 arrests were of people from outside Texas and 75 were residents of the city of Dallas, the article states.
Johnson’s spokesperson Tristan Hallman pushed back on the report, insisting that more than half of those arrested were “not actually in the city of Dallas.”
Of the 7.5 million people residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, 2.64 million live in Dallas County — approximately 1.35 million in the city of Dallas.
During the press conference, the first-term Dallas mayor added that the municipality “will not tolerate those who want to come into our city and exploit these peaceful protests.”
The mayor’s office reminded people that Mayor Johnson is the “mayor of the city of Dallas, not of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
Governor Abbott added, “Some of the violence that we’re seeing — that’s not being done by people who reside in Dallas or even in Texas. It’s committed by criminals who are hijacking peaceful protests in order to plunder and in order to loot.”
Abbott is working with the four United States Attorneys offices in Texas to ensure that those who travel to Texas to commit acts of violence, vandalism, and looting will be prosecuted under federal law.
An organizer of Friday and Saturday’s protests, Giselle López Estrada, told the Texas Tribune she said the protesters were “mostly from Dallas.” She complained that leadership is focusing more on the violence than on the reason for the protest. López Estrada is a resident of the Pleasant Grove neighborhood in Dallas, the article states.
“They keep talking about the looting, but they don’t talk about the protest,” López Estrada said. “I just wish they would try to focus more on the messaging and what happened and what needs to change.”