In suburban Arlington, Texas, a group of police watchers have been seen armed with guns, following and filming police officers. The officers, thus far, have done nothing in response.
According to the Houston Chronicle, although Arlington police might see the cop-watchers as an annoyance and bothersome, they do not seem to be afraid of the group.
Last August, the Dallas New Black Panthers formed an umbrella organization called the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, made for five smaller black or hispanic groups. Aaron Lake Smith wrote of the formation in a VICE article titled “The Revolutionary Gun Clubs Patrolling the Black Neighborhoods of Dallas.”
While marching in protest against police violence is nothing new for the Dallas New Black Panthers, the fatal shootings of unarmed black men last year in Missouri, Ohio and New York have added a spark to their cause.
It has been noted that the group’s actions are not an action to cause fear amongst police officers as the Black Panthers organization did over 40 years ago. Back then, the group was seen roaming neighborhoods carrying weapons as well.
MySanAntonio reported Gun Club co-founders Charles Goodson and Darren X, National Field Marshal of the New Black Panther party, have been working together for a decade.
“We accept all oppressed people of color with weapons,” Darren X told Smith for his article. “The complete agenda involves going into our communities and educating our people on federal, state and local gun laws. We want to stop fratricide, genocide — all the ‘cides.’”
After the October march, the group delivered a Dallas Communities Organizing for Change report on police violence to the U.S. Attorney’s Office downtown. Although its membership has flourished, only a dozen participants showed for the fall march with only eight carrying weapons.