Dallas saw a spike in violent crimes in 2019, leading civic leaders to draw up a plan to cut offending. Although the city has seen a small decline in overall violent crime rates to date in 2020, aggravated assaults are rising, new figures reveal.
A report in the Dallas Observer noted overall violent crime is down year-on-year but a fall of a mere 0.17 percent is below the 5 percent target outlined in the plan drawn up at the start of 2020.
The city council considered a presentation earlier this month which detailed crime in 2020 up to Aug. 31. It demonstrated that robberies dropped in the first eight months of the year but aggravated assaults increased considerably.
Police Chief U. Renee Hall, who is leaving her post, said a further 12 murders occurred in the city since the end of August. She noted there have been 156 murders to date this year in Dallas, compared with 150 this time in 2019.
The report detailed offending in 2020 up to Aug. 31. It indicated that robberies have dropped but aggravated assaults spiked this year.
Since then, an additional 12 murders have occurred, Hall said. There have been 156 murders to date this year in Dallas, compared with 150 this time last year, she said.
Deputy Chief Teena Schultz said most of the aggravated assaults occurred in multi-family apartment complexes and convenience stores. She said the department has sent more officers to patrol problem areas, which redirects the crimes to other places.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is unimpressed by the speed of progress on the plan to reduce the city’s violence. In August, he told a TV station he does not see crime in the city moving in the right direction and is not happy with the progress.
Dallas Police Department records show homicides rose by 108 percent in July compared to the 2019 figure. The city recorded 25 killings this July compared to 12 in July 2019.
Aggravated assaults jumped by 25 percent in July from a year ago. Police recorded 529 this July compared to 424 in July 2019. The Mayor described a 30 percent increase year over year in aggravated assaults in Dallas as “unacceptable,” CBS reported.
Hall resigned this month but will remain in her post until the end of the year. She has been criticized amid a spike in violent crime and for her handling of the police department’s review of its response to this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The Texas Penal Code defines aggravated assault as an assault that causes serious bodily injury to another person, including the person’s spouse; or “uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.”
The offense is a second-degree felony but may be a first-degree felony if a deadly weapon is used against a family member, or the assault is committed against a public servant, a police or security officer or a witness or prospective witness to a crime.
Aggravated assaults carry heavy sentences. You should always contact an experienced Dallas aggravated assault attorney if police charge you with this office. Please call us at (214) 720-9552.