Dallas’ obligation to remove the wrongful label of “suspected cop killer” from Mark Hughes is long overdue.
More than two months have passed since the cold-blooded murder of five police officers and the wounding of nine others at the end of a peaceful Black Lives Matter march in Dallas, Texas. Yet an innocent man, Mark Hughes, remains stigmatized, his reputation ruined, his life and his family’s lives endangered. Why? Both the City of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department have failed to correct their Twitter feeds, which falsely depict him as a murder suspect—even though they have now determined he had nothing whatsoever to do with these killings and attacks on police.
Mark Hughes is a husband, father of five children, small-business owner, and one of over a million Texans licensed to openly carry firearms. His strong belief in his Second Amendment rights is not unusual in Texas. What is unusual, however, is that he and some other African-Americans decided to openly carry their firearms while participating in a Black Lives Matter protest march, in the wake of killings of African-Americans by police.
RKN Global Ronald Noble Sees Clearing Mark Hughes’ Name as an Opportunity to Heal Two Communities:
The story of the courage and heroism of Dallas police officers running toward the sound of gunfire and certain danger in order to protect protesters—coupled with footage of Mark Hughes peacefully turning over his firearm on his own, to make the work of police easier—could have represented a shining example of police and African-Americans coming together in a time of crisis. All of us could now be centering our focus upon supporting the affected families and working together to build trust between police and African-American communities.
I understand the pain of the members of the Dallas Police Department. When I served as Secretary General of INTERPOL and head of several U.S. law enforcement agencies, I led brave and dedicated law enforcement officers, both in the U.S. and around the world. I know what it is like to mourn the loss of officers under my command as a result of murders and terrorist attack. I have defended the police and law enforcement community for most of my professional life.
I also believe that part of standing together with police is making sure that they live up to their ideals and responsibilities. A healthy, fair, and just police department should never allow false accusations against an innocent person to remain uncorrected and visible on its media channels. I ask the Dallas Police Department and the City of Dallas to remove the video, which remains, effectively, an online digital “wanted” poster, and to do the right thing by using social media to definitively clear Mark Hughes’ name.