The RLCTX wishes to send its condolences to all of those in the Dallas community affected by last week’s tragedy. Violence and murder are never the answer to civil protest, whether at the hands of police or civilians.
As stated in The Texas GOP Platform, “We proudly support our law enforcement agencies and their personnel.” The murder of police officers who were committing no aggression is unconscionable. We must address those who wish to usurp the laws of our community, and become actors participating in murder in public, with just as much fervor as we do bad policing. Dallas has one of the more diverse police forces in the U.S. and it has reportedly made steps to improve its relationship with the black community. According to the Dallas Morning News, the DPD has made notable advances in policing tactics, transparency regarding excessive force and a more open approach to handling protesters. From 2009 to 2015, excessive force complaints have dropped from 147 to 13. The killing of innocent public servants due to an issue in another state, involving an unrelated department, is not acceptable.
The RLCTX will always defend the civil rights of the people. The statements made by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, calling those who have assembled to make their grievances known “hypocrites” for criticizing police while still expecting officers to protect them, does little to defuse the situation. Statements similar to this are in direct opposition to the Texas GOP Platform which states, “Freedom of Assembly – Because we believe in the freedom of assembly… Those who assault peaceful protesters acting under the Constitution should be vigorously prosecuted. Picketing and literature distribution do not fall under the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.”. The right to protest one’s government, including police, is a fundamental right we all share. Petitioning police departments to be more sensible with officers who show poor conduct does not speak to the notion that all police are criminals with badges. Additionally, these actions do not mean protestors wish to have no protection. Even if there is disagreement over this issue, which there is bound to be, the freedom to protest is a cherished right we should always protect.
We must concern ourselves when the police lose the trust of the people. Officers who commit unwarranted aggression against those they serve deserve to be reprimanded and should be removed from representing our communities as peace officers. Governmental authority, having the power to tax, levy a fee, or arrest an individual, should be held accountable and subject to the same laws which govern the people. The RLC has pushed for resolutions to be adopted decreasing the scope of officers arresting powers when it comes to the war on drugs. We firmly stand behind the idea put forth in our Texas GOP Platform, “Restricting Arrest Powers – Republican Party of Texas calls upon the Texas Legislature to authorize the arrest and jailing of individuals only for offenses for which jail is a punishment or to prevent family violence.”
Additionally, The RLC-endorsed Senator Rand Paul has pushed for Police Body camera legislation, and has also voiced concerns regarding police militarization, “[There] should be a difference between a police response and a military response.” The bomb disposal robot used to kill an American citizen, on American soil, raises new questions with regard to the American Justice system.
Government thrives and grows when the people are divided. This allows our public servants to assume even larger roles in our everyday lives under the guise of safety. We wish for all of our members to stand by the fact that all lives, races and creeds matter. As Liberty Republicans we stand firm against all unwarranted aggression among our government and among its people. We continue to support a “strict construction of the Bill of Rights as a defense against tyranny; the expansion of those rights to all voluntary consensual conduct under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments; and the requirements of equal protection and due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.”