AUSTIN, Texas — U. Reneé Hall, the police chief in Dallas, abruptly announced her resignation on Tuesday amid eroding support on the City Council stemming from her department’s handling of protests over the policing of African-Americans.
Her resignation, which becomes effective on Nov. 10, follows a wave of police chief resignations in other cities during a tumultuous summer that has brought intense scrutiny on American law enforcement.
Chief Hall, who is African-American, is the first woman to lead the Dallas department and has held the position since 2017.
In her resignation letter to the Dallas city manager, T.C. Broadnax, Chief Hall expressed gratitude for serving in the post but acknowledged that she had faced challenges in recent months.
“It has not been easy,” she said, while declaring that much had been accomplished “by standing together in support of community policing and changes in the way our officers perform their duties in 2020.”
City Council members delivered a sharp critique of her leadership during widespread protests in Dallas following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers in May.
She gave herself a C-minus when council members asked her to assess her performance in handling the situation, and her report on the department’s actions during the protests found problems with operational plans, communications and maintaining a unified command structure.
Some council members found fault with the fact that the report emphasized protesters who targeted the police with violence but failed to discuss some of the harsh measures employed by officers against the demonstrators.
Several police chiefs around the country have resigned or been fired in recent months as cities reassess their police departments’ treatment of African-Americans and Latinos and the use of tear gas, pepper spray and other measures in seeking to control public protests.
Police chiefs in Seattle, Atlanta, Louisville and Tucson are among those who have departed. On Tuesday, the police chief in Rochester, N.Y., and several of his department’s highest-ranking officials resigned in the aftermath of the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who suffocated after he had been placed in a hood by city police officers and pinned to the ground.