Back in February, Dallas Police officers were dispatched to the suburban home of Dianne Irons after a call concerning an ambiguous domestic dispute at the East Oak Cliff residence. Turns out, Irons and her nephew– who both used to reside at the home–were arguing over its proper ownership.
Upon arrival, one of the local officers, LaTasha Moore, believed that Irons was acting out of line, so she requested the woman to exit the house. At this point, Moore arrested Irons for public intoxication, due in large part to, Irons’ slurred speech.
The official police report filed by Moore stated that Irons was “under the influence of some medication causing her to be a danger to herself and her nephew.”
Although Irons’ did demonstrate unusual behavior, it was not a response to medication or alcohol. Twenty years ago, Irons suffered a stroke that permanently impaired her speech and affected her ability to walk. When Irons tried to explain this to Moore–going as far as calling her son, Ben, who drove over to elucidate the situation—she, along with her son, were arrested for disorderly conduct.
According to court records, Ben was handcuffed for over two hours and forced to sit in the back seat of Moore’s patrol car before being released. Irons; however, wasn’t so fortunate: Dianne Irons spent nearly six hours in the drunk tank and was issued a fine of approximately $400.
In response to their egregious mistake, Chief David Brown of the Dallas Police Department, visited Irons’s home in early March to personally apologize. In a statement Brown said, “The Department regrets that we did not recognize Ms. Irons’ medical condition. Bless her heart, you can’t help but feel for her and what happened to her in that situation.
Apologies are nice, but they don’t restore justice. Ben and Dianne Irons, this week, filed a federal suit against the city of Dallas and Officer Moore for false imprisonment and wrongful arrest. The suit also claims that Moore humiliated the mother and her son, and that the Dallas Police Department was obscenely negligent in their training.