A Dallas DART police officer was placed on paid administrative leave after his superior told him his braids were unprofessional.
Dakari Davis asked, “To say that a Black police officer who wears cornrows is unprofessional, what does that say about you and the way you view black people that wear cornrows? The conversation is needed, but to have those conversations we have to admit that we have a problem.”
Davis’s problem started about six years ago after he joined law enforcement, while working for DART in 2019.
He says he never thought his appearance, especially his braided hairstyle would effect his ability to work and do his job.
Although DART won’t comment on the matter, documents showed that Davis was asked not to wear his cornrows while in uniform back in 2019.
A lieutenant that did not approve of Davis’s hairstyle said it was unprofessional for male police officers to wear cornrows and contacted the Chief of Police and eventually filed a formal complaint against Davis’s hairstyle.
Months after the incident Davis wore his braids to an awards ceremony, sparking an internal affairs investigation in November.
Davis said, “I actually decided to cut my hair out of fear of retaliation, I said, ‘you know what, I have a son, I need to provide for them, I’m just going to cut my hair.”
The complaint against davis listed five allegations, which included, insubordination for disobeying a direct order from a supervisor and violation of the police department’s dress code policy.
He was eventually placed on paid administrative leave, received a recommendation for termination, and a letter of reprimand.
After that, Davis reached out to Dallas Commissioner John Wiley Price, who quickly stepped in on behalf of Davis.
In September of 2020 letter of reprimand was rescinded with a notice sent to the Chief of Police from DART’s Chief Operating officer.
Davis has since returned back to work as a motorcycle officer with no restrictions.