Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez opened Judge Hawk’s fourth Town Hall which was held at The Cathedral of Hope, an LGBT inclusive church, on Cedar Springs Road in Oak Lawn.
Judge Hawk reminisced about the on and off two decades she lived in the area spent walking her dog at night and taking daily trips to Starbucks. Regarding the recent crime wave she said “From a personal level I’m terribly sorry about what has happened.” She further stated that her office is committed to prosecuting these offenses to the fullest extent of the law.
She spoke of the elements required to prosecute a crime as a “hate crime”. Its added difficulty to the prosecution of robbery, for instance, requires proof that the crime was specifically about the victims sexuality.
Judge Hawk also spoke of one of the new projects being established in her office to include the Restorative Justice program, a diversion program to help youthful and mentally ill first time offenders.
When asked by Scott Adams, a 27 year resident of Oak Cliff, why it took so long to add Police presence to the area, Assistant Chief of Investigations Randy Blankenbaker stated one of the reasons it took a while was how much the descriptions of the attackers varied.
Deputy Chief Katrina Shead addressed the crowd from a neighborhood policing point of view.