Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall, the first Black woman to lead the city’s police force, announced her resignation Tuesday after months of criticism about her department’s response to protests following the death of George Floyd.
Police acknowledged there was a “breakdown in communications” during protests after the death of George Floyd, including the tear gassing of protesters on the landmark Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge that Hall had initially said didn’t happen.
A report presented to the Dallas City Council last month detailed the missteps by the police department during protests from May 29 to June 1, with some council members saying they had lost trust in Hall’s ability to lead the police.
According to the report, more than $5 million in property damage was sustained after protests turned violent, while six police officers and two residents were seriously injured.
Hall gave herself a “C-” grade in handling the protests when asked to assess her role.
Her announcement comes just after the police chief in Rochester, New York, announced he would retire after unrest over the handling of the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died in police custody in March.
Hall’s resignation takes effect Nov. 10.
“I was a big champion for you chief, saying that there was no tear gas used on that bridge. I had to do a mea culpa publicly because I was told, and you also told us, that there was no tear gas used on that bridge,” councilman Omar Narvaez said. “I can tell you that I’m outraged as a council member and I’m outraged as a person who lives in the city of Dallas that even in this report, I don’t know who to trust. Hall, you are our top cop. And I have lost the trust.”
Like many large cities around the U.S., there were protests in Dallas that turned violent in the days following the death of George Floyd. According to the report shown to the council, which came under criticism for how long it took to put together, there were numerous “errors and shortcomings” on the part of Dallas police, especially when it came to communication. Officers received different commands over different forms of communications, which led to losing track of resources, according to the report.
“It has not been easy,” Hall said of her time as police chief, in her resignation letter. “These past three years have been saturated with a series of unimaginable events that individually and collectively have never happened in the City of Dallas.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and Deputy Chief Joseph Morabito announced their retirement. The city has been rocked by unrest after video was released of Prude’s arrest, which took place while he was suffering a mental health episode. Officers used a hood to restrain Prude, but slammed him to the ground and held him there for two minutes after he resisted. Prude, 41, was pronounced dead after arriving at a hospital.