In an unexpected move Monday, the City of Mobile released audio recordings, 911 transcripts and an official statement in response to a federal lawsuit.
Executive director of Public Safety Robert Lasky said that although the city does not usually respond to pending litigation, officials felt it was necessary to clear up alleged false information released by civil rights attorney Harry Daniels in the Jawan Dallas case.
The lawsuit was filed by Christine Dallas, Jawan Dallas' mother, on behalf of his estate.
Jawan Dallas died after an encounter with police on July 2 after being detained in response to a 911 call about a break-in at a trailer home.
The six-count lawsuit accuses the city of wrongful death, assault/battery, unconstitutional policy, retaliation, unlawful seizure and unlawful use of force.
Attorneys for the Dallas family claim Police Chief Paul Prine "provided a false narrative to the public" about what happened.
Prine said during a press conference that Dallas matched the description of the burglary suspect and that he was in the location where the 911 caller said the suspect was. The lawsuit claims those two claims were not true.
Monday evening, the city released a response to those claims.
"The City of Mobile does not typically comment on pending litigation," Lasky said. "However, we find ourselves in the unusual position of having to correct a false narrative portrayed publicly by attorney Harry Daniels in a press conference earlier today. During his comments, Mr. Daniels called into question the character of our police chief by claiming he lied to the public about the events leading up to the confrontation between Jawan Dallas and two Mobile police officers on July 2, 2023."
"Because the statements made by Mr. Daniels are inciteful and false, it is our opinion that it serves a public interest to release the 911 call and the subsequent dispatch of two of our police officers to a reported burglary in progress on July 2, 2023," the response continued. "These transcripts speak for themselves. The information provided by the operator to the 911 Caller and the responding officers was the same information that Chief Paul Prine relayed to the media and the members of the public during his press conference on July 7, 2023."
In the 911 call, you can hear the caller telling the 911 operator that the black male who came onto his property was wearing a red shirt or red pants and had walked to what looked to be trailer number 27.
Dallas was wearing red, short pants when he encountered police near trailer 27 on July 2, police confirmed.
Supporters of Dallas have addressed the city council every week since Dallas' death, asking for the body-worn video footage to be released to the public. The video has not been released. However, the city council will vote on two citywide policy changes concerning releasing video footage and pre-dawn warrants at its December 12 meeting.
The family is seeking $36 million, $1 million for each year of Dallas' life.
The complete transcript can be read below.
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