Tensions between 2 Dallas police unions rise

DALLAS, TX – The head of the Dallas Police Association wants Chief David Brown to send two officers home while the department investigates discrimination accusations leveled against them by a colleague.

DPA president Ron Pinkston wants Sgt. Cletus Judge and Lt. Vince Weddington placed on administrative leave while the department’s public integrity unit investigates Judge’s handling of an off-duty job assignment. Officer Edward Boyd accused Judge of taking away an off-duty job working security at a Red Bird-area medical clinic because Boyd wouldn’t join the Black Police Association. Judge is the group’s president.

Boyd also alleged that Weddington, a public integrity unit supervisor and BPA member, tried to intervene when Boyd complained about Judge.

“It needs to be investigated properly,” Pinkston said in an interview Wednesday, a day after he sent Brown a letter asking that he place Judge and Weddington on leave until the investigation is complete.

“The morale of our officers and the public’s trust can be tarnished by the acts of a few,” Pinkston wrote in the letter. “To earn the support of Dallas residents, we must maintain transparent policies on how investigations are conducted and make sure all allegations of criminal conduct within the department are thoroughly investigated and consistently handled without bias.”

Brown did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Judge’s attorney, Jane Bishkin, said she doesn’t believe administrative leave is required in this case.

“Administrative leave is simply a tool to protect the city from liability and in DPD’s case, usually only for allegations that involve serious criminal misconduct that impacts the public,” she said. “In my opinion, the nature of Boyd’s complaint doesn’t rise to this level.”

Pinkston’s letter is the latest in a string of run-ins between BPA and DPA leadership in the last year. That included a back-and-forth between the groups and the department this summer over management at the Dallas police academy that led to a shake-up in command there. Afterward, Brown called for the city’s four major police associations to unite as one.

The DPA, the largest of the groups, began talks with the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police and the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization’s Greater Dallas chapter in the months afterward. Those talks are still underway. Judge told The Dallas Morning News after BPA members missed the first meeting that he was open to the idea of unification but intended to do more research on the matter.

Pinkston said Wednesday that despite their outreach, Judge has never sent anyone to the joint meetings.

Judge, who works in the assaults unit, joined the department in 1987. He has been the BPA’s president since 2012.

Boyd, a DPA member, got an off-duty job through Judge in early September at a South Dallas Fresenius Medical Care clinic. Judge coordinates security details for the clinic.

The Police Department’s extra jobs unit, which is overseen by the BPA’s first vice president, approves the off-duty gigs.

Boyd said Judge called him two weeks after he started at Fresenius and told him to join the BPA — a membership costs $30 a month — or lose the extra work. When Boyd refused to join, he said Judge took the job from him.

Judge, through his attorney, has denied Boyd’s allegations and said they have a witness who will back up Judge’s account. Judge has said Boyd lost the off-duty work after he failed to show up for a scheduled shift. Boyd has denied that.

Weddington previously told The Dallas Morning News he couldn’t comment because the investigation is underway.

The results of the public integrity investigation, which is criminal in nature, will be forwarded to internal affairs to determine if any departmental policies have been violated.

From The Dallas Morning News