Dallas Reporter Says Police ‘Kettling’ Turned Peaceful Protest Chaotic

Police didn’t stop hundreds of protesters from getting on a Dallas bridge, which officers had barricaded at one end.

By Jill AmentJune 2, 2020 11:31 am, , ,

Protests against the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and the killings of many other black Americans by law enforcement, continued across the country on Monday. One of the more dramatic scenes in Texas took place on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas.

Cassandra Jaramillo who covers Dallas police for The Dallas Morning News told Texas Standard host David Brown that the protest proceeded peacefully Monday evening at the county courthouse where demonstrators called for systemic changes to Dallas policing. Then, around 9:00 p.m., the protest moved to the bridge where “chaos erupted.”

“No one was stopping the crowd from getting on the bridge,” Jaramillo said. “People started running; it wasn’t clear what was happening. We saw smoke.”

At the other end of the bridge, she said, were SWAT vehicles. Dallas police were using them as part of a “kettling” tactic to corral the crowd.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson expressed concern about Dallas police tactics, but Jaramillo said he has not yet elaborated about those concerns.

Many of the protesters who were detained on the bridge were later released, back in front of the courthouse. Jaramillo said they’ll likely have to pay a fine for a misdemeanor offense of “obstructing a highway.”

Despite how it ended, she said the demonstration was “overwhelmingly peaceful,” which was what made the police encounter all the more confusing.

“Demonstrators [were] chanting for justice, and at one point [it] just stopped and it turned into this chaotic scene. It’s unclear what the strategy was behind that kettling tactic.”

Web story by Caroline Covington.


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