Dallas Police Department Deputy Chief Terrence Rhodes of the Criminal Investigations Bureau announced Wednesday, June 8, announced that the department’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating the death of transgender woman LaDamonyon Dewayne “Dee” Hall, 47, who died Thursday, May 26, while in police custody.
A report on the department’s blog, DPDBeat.com, indicates that officers responding to a call that an individual was “causing a disturbance” at 12002 Garland Road took Hall “into custody for a mental health evaluation,” and that she was taken by Dallas Fire Rescue to Baylor Hospital “where she died.”
The blog post includes this link to video of the incident taken from an officer’s bodycam. (Dallas Voice will not share the video here because it does, in effect, show Hall’s death. Readers should decide for themselves whether to watch it.) The video, which includes more than 35 minutes of footage, shows officers arriving at the location and talking with Hall, who appears frightened and disoriented. The video continues through officers putting Hall, who is by that time on the ground after trying to pull her dress over her head and falling, in restraints, putting her on a stretcher and into the ambulance. It continues until the ambulance arrives at the Baylor Hospital ER, with a paramedic performing CPR chest compressions as she is wheeled into the hospital.
Neither the report on the DPDBeat.com nor the video identify Hall as transgender. However, the blog report refers to her with “she/her” pronounes, and when officers arrive, they call Hall “ma’am.” As the video progresses and Hall lifts her dress, exposing herself in the process, officers and paramedics switch to “he/him” pronouns and call Hall “sir.”
After watching the video, The Muhlaysia Booker Foundation’s executive director president, Stephanie Houston and Ahmad Goree, released the following statement:
“The Muhlaysia Booker Foundation extends our heartfelt condolences to the family of LaDamonyon “Dee” Hall. The tragic death of any member of the LGBTQ+ community is heartbreaking to us.
“We have reviewed the video released by the Dallas Police Department and look forward to the completion of the investigation by their Special Investigations Unit. We hope that they will use all resources to conduct this investigation. We will await the completion and release of their investigation results; however, we believe that the content in the video requires additional discussion with our city leadership. As an organization committed to providing community leadership surrounding LGBTQ+ matters, we will closely monitor and develop an action plan after the completion of the city’s investigation.
“Stephanie Houston, executive director
“Ahmad Goree, president.”
— Tammye Nash