It came up in the context of a discussion about the infamous Ryan Moats incident. I urged him to go forward at that time. I contacted the Irving Police department on his behalf. Officer John Tully responded that there was no record of the incident. I asked Patrick if he wanted to press further. He told me that he was hoping for a tryout a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys. As the practice facility was near where the incident occurred, he had concerns that some of the same officers would be working the area and did not want those types of distractions prior to his tryout. We therefore agreed not to run the story.
The issue was jogged to my mind again after I read the story of Calvin Moore Jr. Mr. Moore was an African-American shot in the back three times while trying to flee what he claims was an alleged un-provoked attack by the Irving police. While the Irving City Council ultimately voted to pay over 400k to settle a federal lawsuit arising out of the shooting, the Irving police department has denied allegations of racial profiling.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Calvin Moore’s death is one of at least nine cases in which Irving officers have fatally shot someone in the last 11 years. This, combined with the allegations against the department by by activists, minority leaders and civil rights groups, as well as a report by the University Of California at Berkley Law School accusing the Department of profiling brought me back to Mr. Johnson, once again urging him to come forward with his story.
We again contacted the Irving Police Department. I was again told there was no record of the incident. I was given information for Patrick to file a formal internal affair complaint. A portion of the email reads as follows:
“An allegation of this type is taken very seriously, and as such, gathering the information and detail surrounding it is paramount for a thorough investigation to take place to determine if an allegation is real or perceived.
Patrick proceeded to contact internal affairs and was greeted by Officer Swann with the “we take all complaints seriously” response that too much time had passed to take a complaint and there fore no formal complaint would be taken from him.
I then proceeded to email the department that we would be moving forward with officer Swann’s un-willingness to take Patrick’s complaint “seriously” as their official stance on the matter.
Low and behold Mr. Johnson immediately received a call back from officer Swann with a much more “serious” attitude.
In the end, the position of the Irving Police Department to date is that there is no record of anything. No record of the stop. No record of Mr. Johnson’s license plate. No record of the search of Patrick’s mothers home. Not even any record of the infamous Mr. Patrick Watkins who they told Mr. Johnson was wanted in 3 states as he sat handcuffed in front of the Shell Station. It simply never happened…
Which is easier to believe? Patrick Johnson and his mother, who is school nurse at Nimitz High School of the DISD, both respected members of the community, fabricated a detailed chain of events with nothing to gain? Just maybe that a police department, currently under scrutiny due to numerous allegations of racial profiling, swept a legally and procedurally flawed and potentially fatal stop behind the blue-wall thinking it would never come back to bite them.
Why is Mr Johnson coming forward almost two year later? In the hopes that the Irving Police Department will one day actually take allegations of racial profiling seriously instead of paying self-validating lip service to a problem that appears obvious to everyone else.