The families of several men killed or wounded by Dallas police officers lambasted the department for what they said was a pattern of excessive force, civil rights violations and police brutality, reports the Dallas Morning News. The newly formed Mothers Against Police Brutality held a news conference at City Hall where they called for a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the Dallas Police Department's deadly force practices. “It is not a black problem,” said Collette Flanagan, whose son Clinton Allen was fatally shot this year by a Dallas officer. “It is not a Hispanic problem. It's not a poor people's problem. It is our problem.”
The department says 70 percent of the 57 people killed by Dallas police officers from 2003 to date were ethnic minorities. Six people have died in shootings involving officers this year. Injuries to officers by suspects have spiked in the last four years. So far this year, officers have suffered 58 such injuries, more than twice the 27 injuries in 2009. The group's news conference came three days after Monday's questionable shooting of a carjacking suspect by a Dallas officer. A witness has said the suspect had his hands up when the officer shot him. Police Chief David Brown now allows officers to take 72 hours before giving detectives an official statement on use of force incidents. “You should not need 72 hours to tell somebody what happened,” said Daryl Washington, an attorney representing Flanagan.