Family of unarmed man fatally shot by Dallas officer speaks out

DALLAS – The family of a man killed by an officer at a Dallas apartment complex spoke out publicly Monday.

Unarmed, Tobias Arthur Mackey was killed late Friday night when he was shot by a three-year veteran of the force, Officer Matthew Tate. An 11-year-old bystander, Xavier Collins, was also shot as the officer aimed his fire at Mackey.

Monday, the family of Mackey talked about his last moments and on their fear of police in South Dallas.

“We’re not scared of the drug dealers; we’re scared of the police,” said Vicki Stephens, Mackey’s aunt.

Stephens, Mackey’s parents and his brother-in-law stood alongside area ministers Monday as Rev. Ronald Wright delivered a message.

“The image of the Dallas Police Department throughout the community cannot be a terrible image because it endangers the lives of honest and good police officers,” Wright said.

A Dallas police spokesman said officers were working at the Cedar Garden Apartment complex Friday night in response to complaints of drugs, prostitution and gang violence.

Police said Tate shot Mackey when he wouldn’t obey officers’ orders to place his hands behind his back. Authorities said Mackey wouldn’t take his hands out of his pockets.

Eric Mackey, Tobias’ father, said he saw his son shot twice.

“They told him to get his hands out of his pockets and get on the ground,” he said. “At that time, he made another step toward my son and finished him off.”

During the shooting, Collins was shot in the arm.

It was later discovered Mackey did not have a gun.

Deputy Chief Vernon Hale watched the press conference and spoke to the ministers afterward. They are requesting a full meeting with Chief David Brown and all the deputy chiefs.

“It has to come to an end because the community has taken about as much as it can take,” Wright said. “I done all I can do Friday night to stop a riot from taking place.”

Mackey was under a criminal trespassing warning from the apartment complex where the shooting occurred. It’s unclear whether officers knew that when he was shot.

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