About 100 protesters gathered outside Dallas Police headquarters in The Cedars on Sunday, Nov. 22 to demand continued visible police presence in Oak Lawn.
Rally organizer Daniel Cates noted that the stepped up security this past weekend worked and no attacks were reported.
The rally was originally planned to demand police protection in the area, but after a horrific attack on Thursday evening and a number of gay vigilantes, each working independently, announcing plans to patrol the area, police stepped up its patrols in the area. The Thursday attack came on the heels of several community meetings with police and photos of the victim were particularly graphic.
Protesters gathered initially on the street corner at Lamar and Belleview, but, with TV cameras following, moved to surround the entrance to police headquarters. One lone officer watched from inside and no officers were present on the plaza.
Speaking to the crowd, Cates thanked Mayor Mike Rawlings and Councilman Adam Medrano for walking the neighborhood to voice concern about the attacks. He thanked police for the response, but noted the visible police presence came only after 15 violent attacks, including some that went unreported.
Cates compared the police response to that along the Katy Trail, just a few blocks away. After five attacks over the course of just a few days, police presence was stepped up and, because of surveillance video, the attackers were caught.
In the Oak Lawn attacks, police are following some leads, but descriptions of the attackers have been sketchy, because most of the men have been attacked from behind.
On Friday, Nov. 20, a memorial Transgender Day of Remembrance rally was held at the monument on Cedar Springs Road. Speakers included attack victims in their speeches. At the Sunday night protest, a member of the trans community spoke, asking for solidarity and protection for both trans people and the LGB community.