Dallas police unions split on officer's firing - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dallas police unions split on firing of officer who shot unarmed man

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The firing of a Dallas police officer who shot an unarmed man is causing a division among police officers and even police unions.

The Dallas Police Association said the firing is causing confusion on when to use deadly force, but the Dallas Black Police Association said the firing was justified.

DPA President Ron Pinkston said nearly 200 officers have written to him with concerns about the department's deadly force policy.  

Senior Corporal Amy Wilburn shot Kelvion Walker, 17, during a carjacking investigation last month.

Walker was in the passenger seat of a stolen car and told police he had his hands up in the air.  A witness also told police he saw walker with his hands raised when Wilburn shot him.

Pinkston said officers are now confused about using deadly force.

"I think if you talk to past defense tactics instructors they'll tell you, we don't have any training where the car is rolling and it's going to go through a house, they think the car is empty, we don't have that, you don't do felony stops on that regard," Pinkston said.

The president of the DBPA, Sgt. Cletus Judge, saw the same video and has a different conclusion. 

"I don't think what I saw in the video was what we taught at the police academy," said Judge.

Judge said he has not received any letters of concern from his union members.

But Pinkston said he's heard concerns from officers who were a part of the standoff where a Dallas lawyer fired at police before being shot dead by officers.

"I have talked to them and I can tell you, some of them thought about it during the incident, and that's what we can't have," Pinkston said.

Judge thinks the current policies are clear and officers are ready for what happens in high-pressure situations.

"I can't speak for those officers but I just don't think that when bullets are whizzing around an officers head that he's going to be reluctant to return fire. I just don't see it," Judge said.

The DPA sent a letter to the interim city manager with complaints it had with Chief David Brown's management style. This week the DBPA sent a letter to its members re-affirming the techniques officers use.

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