Phil Williams holds up a picture of stepson Jawan Dallas, who died after being tased by a Mobile police officer during a reported burglary in Theodore on July 2. At immediate right is Dallas’ mother, Christine Dallas, during a press conference Thursday in front of Government Plaza in downtown Mobile. (Arthur L. Mack/Call News)
By ARTHUR L. MACK
The family of a Mobile man who was tased by Mobile police and later died is demanding the release of bodycam footage.
On July 2 at 9:46 p.m., Mobile police responded to a residential burglary in progress at Plantation Mobile Home Park at 5413 Carol Plantation Road in Theodore and attempted to apprehend Jawan Dallas, 36, who tried to flee and physically resisted officers, according to a statement by the Mobile Police Department.
During the struggle, an officer used his Taser to try and subdue Dallas to no avail. Dallas tried to grab the Taser away from the officer, leading to a brief struggle. After the officer used the Taser a second time, Dallas was placed in custody, according to the MPD.
Medical personnel were called to the scene to evaluate Dallas, who experienced a medical emergency and was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the MPD.
Police are waiting on a report verifying the cause of Dallas’ death, according to the MPD.
On Thursday, Harry M. Daniels, an attorney representing Dallas’ family, along with Dallas’ mother, stepfather and other family members, met in front of Government Plaza and requested to view the video footage of the events leading up to Dallas’ death.
Daniels told the media Dallas had nothing to do with the burglary.
“Jawan Dallas was an innocent bystander,” Daniels said. “The reports you’ve seen from law enforcement, they’re not true. We have multiple witnesses who say otherwise and who have no dog in the fight clearly saw what happened.”
Dallas’ stepfather, Phil Williams, said the family wants justice.
“Jawan didn’t deserve to die like that,” Williams said. “Mobile police force, you need to stop the killing. An innocent man, gone — someone we’re going to miss for the rest of our lives. You guys are supposed to be here to serve and protect, not destroy. We’re going to get justice and we want to know what happened, when it happened and why it happened. We can’t have him back but we’re going to get justice for him.”
Added Dallas’ mother, Christine Dallas: “To be tased to death, it’s not right, it’s not imaginable. It hurts and I want something done about it.”
Daniels said witnesses he interviewed said Dallas was nowhere near the scene of the burglary and the suspects did not resemble Dallas.
“We have law enforcement responding to the mobile home park and three individuals took off running,” Daniels said. “Jawan Dallas was about 200 yards down the street. The police officers pulled up and started a chase and at some point accosted Mr. Dallas. He didn’t have any reason to speak to them because he wasn’t part of probable cause for the crime.”
Daniels said multiple witnesses reported Dallas was tased multiple times and died as a result.
“We’re not going to sugarcoat it — this is bad,” Daniels said. “The City of Mobile has to answer to this one. We want transparency for the family to see the video. If they’re contesting what we said, show us the tape.”
Daniels said he and the family are seeking assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice.
“If you don’t get the government involved, it’s going to get swept under the rug,” he said. “We see it time and time again, lack of transparency.”
Mobile NCAA chapter president Robert Clopton said he understands the video can be shared at Daniels’ request.