Two police officers in Mobile, Alabama have been placed on administrative leave after using a Taser on a 36-year-old Black man who later died because they believed he was a burglary suspect.
Jawan Dallas died after he was stunned twice by police officers and experienced a medical emergency. Civil Rights Attorney Harry Daniels is representing the family and says a request has been made to the Mobile Police Department for the bodycam footage to be released. The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that police are not required to release such video.
The Mobile Police Department sent a statement through email to Atlanta Black Star.
“On Sunday, July 2, 2023, at approximately 9:46 p.m., officers responded to a residential burglary in progress at 5413 Carol Plantation Road, within the Plantation Mobile Home Park. Upon arrival, the officers encountered two male individuals at the scene,” the statement read in part. “While attempting to identify one of the males, he immediately attempted to flee. The officers tried to apprehend the individual, and he physically resisted. During the struggle, an officer used his Taser to gain compliance from the subject.”
Authorities said that the initial deployment of the Taser failed to have any effect on Dallas, which led to the second deployment of the Taser before a struggle ensued between the two. They explained that he tried to grab the Taser away from the officer during the struggle, but the officer was able to regain control.
A medical emergency occurred after Dallas was placed into custody, and Mobile Police stated that officers followed protocol by calling for medical personnel. Dallas was then transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead at the hospital.
The couple who reported the suspicious man outside of their gate at the Plantation Mobile Home Park said Dallas had nothing to do with it. Daniels said that witnesses insisted that Dallas was 200 yards away from the home of the alleged burglary and was not one of the suspects who ran from police upon their initial arrival at the scene.
“That wasn’t the guy. That wasn’t the guy that I called for. I called for a guy breaking in and coming onto my property,” said the couple, who asked not to be identified, to Fox 10 News. “That man begged him to stop. Just kept hitting him, just on top of him, pounding on him. It’s just not right. What they done was wrong.”
Daniels, Dallas’ mother, and his stepfather held a press conference in front of the city hall in downtown Mobile on Thursday morning.
“I’m crushed at this moment that this would happen to my son. J [Jawan] would give his last to help any and everybody. … My son shouldn’t have left here this way,” said Christine Dallas, mother of Jawan.
Dallas’ stepfather Phil Williams insisted that his stepson was no burglar.
“You guys supposed to be here to protect and serve, not destroy us. … We know we can’t have him back, but we want some justice for it. … Look at him. Look at the smile on his face. … This not a burglar. We didn’t teach him to burglarize,” said Williams at the news conference.
The family also broke into a chant, “Justice for J.” They said that they planned to go all the way, and Daniels says he has requested that the U.S. Department of Justice take a look at the case. Mobile NAACP President Robert Clopton accompanied the family at the press conference as well.
The Mobile Police Department said that the investigation remains active and updates will be provided as information becomes available.