President Donald Trump visited Dallas on Thursday to attend a race and policing roundtable. Absent from the meeting were several local law enforcement leaders who happen to be black.
Trump hosted the roundtable at Gateway Church. It was followed by a private, $10 million fundraising dinner for the president’s reelection campaign.
Dallas Morning News political writer Gromer Jeffers, who covered the roundtable discussion, told Texas Standard host David Brown on Friday that the other roundtable attendees were people from Trump’s “camp” in Washington, D.C. That included U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
Local law enforcement leaders were not invited, including Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall, Sheriff Marian Brown and District Attorney John Creuzot – all of whom are black and “on the front lines of criminal justice issues and policing issues in North Texas,” Jeffers said.
“He did not address leaving out the area’s top law enforcement officials – all African American officials,” Jeffers said.
Local anti-police brutality activists also weren’t invited.
“The criticism of the event was that if you wanted a true conversation about these issues … maybe you should’ve had a cross section of people from North Texas,” Jeffers said.
Trump did express some concern for the death of George Floyd, and promised to issue executive orders to address police violence. But mostly he promoted a law-and-order approach to dealing with the protests that started after Floyd’s killing – calling for law enforcement to “dominate the streets.” He used the recent example of law enforcement clearing protesters out of Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. using tear gas, smoke and rubber bullets.
“He talked about how they would continue to do this, dominate the streets, if necessary,” Jeffers said.
He also said the roundtable discussed how education can be a tool for lifting people out of poverty, but made no concrete plans to address the issue.
Web story by Caroline Covington.