Memorial to Santos Rodriguez, boy killed by Dallas officer, elicits old response from city

Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, talks with various media about the 40th anniversary of the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez by a Dallas police officer.

Staff Writer

Forty years after he was killed by a Dallas police officer, Santos Rodriguez was praised Wednesday as a hero, an inspiration and a dear brother.

The murder of the 12-year-old by a Dallas police officer who was questioning him, Russian roulette-style, prompted changes in the city that ranged from new police procedures to a rise in Mexican-American involvement in politics.

Memorial events included a request that city officials apologize to the Rodriguez family. By midafternoon, coalition members said they were angry that the city of Dallas responded by resending an old proclamation that declared July 24, 1993, as Santos Rodriguez Memorial Day.

Rick Halperin, an SMU professor and memorial co-organizer, called the city’s effort “inept” and “pathetic.”

Halperin said he would redouble efforts to get an apology. He said it was good the 1993 proclamation contained language that the city would dedicate “itself to never allow such a travesty to reoccur.”

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