On a dash-cam video, Dallas police officers are seen beating a motorcyclist with a baton and fists as he appears to be giving up after a high-speed chase. An audio recording in another chase captures an officer’s chilling words: “Keep us going. I’m going to kick the [expletive] out of him.” More than unprofessional, this sort of policing is disgusting to a reasonable person and embarrassing to an entire city, editorializes the Dallas Morning News, which commends Police Chief David Brown, who “didn’t circle the wagons behind the stereotypical blue wall of silence.”
Brown acted on an anonymous note about the officers’ misbehavior and then delivered an unmistakable message that his officers can’t act beyond what is reasonable and necessary to make a lawful arrest. The Morning News says it is “saddened that these officers betrayed public trust, but heartened that Brown acted to restore it in such a forthright manner. He methodically reviewed the videos and pressed for a criminal investigation. He fired one officer and asked the FBI” to investigate whether civil rights had been violated. He calmly urged community restraint and even visited the home church of the motorcyclist’s family to assure citizens that justice would be vigorously pursued.” Mayor Tom Leppert and Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway also criticized the police.