Dallas Police Chief Resigns After ‘Unthinkable’ Series of Events

September 9, 2020 Updated: September 9, 2020

The first black female police chief in Dallas history is resigning, in the latest in a series of department heads stepping down amid calls for law enforcement reforms.

U. Renee Hall’s resignation is effective Nov. 10, she said in a letter to the city manager made public on Sept. 8.

Hall said the three years she’s had the job “have been saturated with a series of unimaginable events that individually and collectively have never happened in the city of Dallas.”

“I am proud that this department has not only coped with an unthinkable series of events, but we have also managed to implement critical reforms that were clearly needed for the Dallas Police Department to meet our 21st Century Policing goals,” she wrote to City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

The department didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment, but released a list of what it described as Hall’s accomplishments.

They include a reduction in overall crime in 2017, a reduction in violent crime in 2018, and creating a real-time crime center that centralized crime analysis and criminal intelligence.

Hall has faced criticism for how her department handled protests and riots. Officers detained hundreds of protesters on a bridge over the summer, but Hall ultimately decided to drop the charges filed against them.

“I strongly believe we made the right decisions to deter and disperse the large crowd on the bridge,” Hall said in a statement. “We had to protect the protesters from vehicular injury on a roadway still open to traffic. It was critically important to process protesters and then safely reopen the bridge.”

A report released by the department last month detailed how officers responded to the rioting that erupted in late May following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The internal analysis uncovered issues with how officials guided the response.

“As the protests evolved from peaceful to widespread acts of riots and looting, the time necessary to deploy standby response teams, the influx of participants from outside of Dallas, and the unanticipated presence of individuals inciting violence allowed the crowds to spread through greater parts of downtown,” the report states.

A breakdown in communication took place, including officials giving conflicting orders to some units.

Following the report’s release, a number of Dallas City Council members said they supported Hall being replaced and Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot said he was reviewing how police responded to the unrest. Broadnax, who holds the power to fire police chiefs, said he supported Hall.

Epoch Times Photo
Demonstrators march in Dallas, Texas, on June 6, 2020. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Broadnax said Sept. 8 that he asked Hall to stay until the end of the year.

“This year has been tumultuous and uncertain. A few more months of her leadership are key for several projects and for a seamless transition within the police department,” Broadnax said in a statement.

“In her three years of service, Chief Hall has provided consistent, passionate, resilient, and robust leadership to our city. She has implemented a host of reforms that will assist our department as we move forward.”

The city manager said he’s taking time to develop search criteria for a new chief.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, a Democrat, thanked Hall for her service.

“I had not spoken to the chief about her decision, but I was not terribly surprised by it considering the recent public statements of my City Council colleagues,” he said in a statement to news outlets.

“I know that people who commit themselves to careers as police officers face immense challenges and must be willing to make tremendous sacrifices. We demand much from them and especially from our police leaders—and rightfully so because the stakes are incredibly high.

“On top of those demands, Chief Hall had the burden and distinction of being the first woman—a woman of color, no less—to serve as the police chief in Dallas. That was not lost on me. I wish her the best in her career and in her life moving forward.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber