A Dallas grand jury has decided not to bring charges in the death of DeeDee Hall, a transgender woman who died after an encounter with police last year.
Hall, 47, had been restrained by police who responded to a report that she was causing a disturbance at a business May 26, TV station WFAA reports. She “appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” according to the station. Paramedics were called as well.
She “yelled at police and paramedics and began taking her clothes off,” WFAA reports, and police pinned her to the ground and handcuffed her. They also placed what’s called a spit hood over her head. They then put her in an ambulance, bound for Baylor University Medical Center, but in the ambulance her vital signs deteriorated. She died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The Dallas County medical examiner ruled her death accidental, caused by her consumption of cocaine, methamphetamine, and PCP. However, activists and Hall’s family demanded further investigation, especially after video of the incident was released. Her case was referred to a grand jury to consider charges against police and paramedics, and the Dallas County district attorney’s office announced Friday that no charges will be brought. The DA’s office had no further comment.
Hall’s family said an injustice is being done. The video “showed the actions were inhumane. It almost treated DeeDee like a thing, instead of a person,” Hall’s cousin Robbi Reed told WFAA.
“On body camera footage, crews could be heard laughing and commenting on how hot the weather was that day,” the station reports. At the same time, Hall was trying to tell them she was dying, said Justin Moore, an attorney for her family.
“Instead of receiving the care, respect, and understanding she deserved, she was subjected to the callous and discriminatory treatment by the very individuals who should have safeguarded her rights and well-being,” Moore said in a prepared statement.
“We express our utmost outrage and disappointment at the grand jury’s decision to label her untimely demise as a mere accident, despite overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise,” Moore added. The DA’s office, he said, has “once again failed to deliver justice in the face of blatant negligence resulting in the tragic death of a transgender Black woman.”
After Hall’s death, Dallas Fire-Rescue placed the two paramedics involved on administrative leave and suspended their credentials, EMS1.com reports, but it’s unclear if their employment or credentials have been restored.