Journalist of the Year Portfolio

Misty McBride Transcription

Misty McBride Interview Transcription

Do you come here everyday?

At least once. Yeah. Pretty much. I come in and this is on the way to work. Well I used to when I went to work. I would come in and get a cup of coffee and hang out or when I was doing homework when I was finishing my degree I would come here on my day off and I would do homework and stuff. So yeah, I'm pretty much up here a lot.

You have been a DART officer for five years?

Six years. Six year in march so about six and a half.

Why did you first enroll in Dart?

Before Dart I worked at the Dallas county jail. I was a jailer. I would be out and about and I would always see officer. And I'd always wanted to be an officer. When then they talked about Dart, it's something different. Because it's not like regular Dallas, Richardson, Plano. Any of those other regular ones. It's something different. So I was like, "oh ok I'm going to try there"

Why did you get involved?

'cause I always wanted to be an officer.

What was your daily routine like as a Dart officer?

I've walked all over. When I started I worked in traffic South Dallas. So I wrote tickets on the HOV lane. After that, I came up north as a patrol officer in the Garland Rowlett area. I would just drive around and If a call came out on a bus or at one of the train stations, I would go take care of it and patrol everything. Then I was a rail officer. So for probably 5 hours of my shift I rode a train up here and then I’d go to downtown and patrol it for a couple of hours. Then I worked South Dallas over by Fair Park. So I was trains, patrol, and whatever they needed. And then I got asked to go the West End Area, we call it the triangle — the West End, Rosa Parks and the West Transfer center right across from where the busses go. Right at the main hub. Right across from El Centro. And to go down there and clean it up. So that was actually my last assignment before I got injured. So with that one, I would walk around, talk to people and if some incident came out — if somebody got their phone stolen, or their wallet stolen, or got their feelings hurt, or people are high — I dealt with them. Dealt with the fire department a lot. I just walked around the whole area, talking to people just seeing sometimes you'd have a full day — have a drunk on the bus, or someone just drinking out in public. I’d write tickets, take people to jail, stuff like that.

Are you from Dallas?

Originally I'm from Wichita Falls but I grew up in Rowlett.

I had a couple of questions about your family, etc. I know you’re staying in the house with your parents, correct?

Yes.

Who else is staying in that house?

Well it’s myself, my daughter, and then my mom and dad. It’s just kind of you don't know who's coming and going, anything. My dad’s a contractor so he works from the house a lot. So I’m like, "Oh I got the house." Nope. Something always going on. It's never quiet over there. That’s why I was like "ehh", probably wouldn’t be the best place to do this. But yeah it's just us four and all the animals.

Is you moving in there, is that a result of your injury?

Yeah. I have a townhouse in Garland, but I still can’t do everything on my own. I still have some issues like getting dressed. Plus the town house has stairs. If I fall, then I can't use this arm for anything really (left arm right?). I can’t brace myself. I can’t lift anything. So if anything happened to me it would just be me and my ten year old over there.

So before it was just you and your daughter in the townhouse?

Mhm (Who's her daughter's dad?)

So if I were to ask some of your family members what kind of person you were, what would they say?

(She makes a really weird look and looks over at her friend.) What kind of person am I dear? He's known me for about six years. (He says: Very brave. Very strong. Very wise. Humble. Strong.)

So one last question what do you think the hardest decision you had to make in life was?

I think every decision is kind of — you know, there is good and bad with it. But I mean, everything I’ve done is to kind of done to better. You know, switching jobs. I really haven’t done anything that. I mean I'm going back to work so if I would've been like "ok I'm done with policing." I hadn't even thought about that, but people have asked me if I'm coming back. I say "yeah I'm coming back!" (says it in a duh tone) So that would've been. But I haven't even thought about that. I'm going back. I really haven’t had anything that’s a life altering decision.

(Her guy friend) Do you think being in the bed of the hospital was kind of --?

Well I wish I would’ve run faster or stop sooner, but I might've avoided — I had three shots. I might've avoided one of them. I mean, I thought about a lot of stuff, but I didn’t really question anything. I don’t think I really had to make that decision. Thankfully. (pretty sure they are talking about her dying)

So more on the day of the shooting, how did that day start off for you?

I showed up for work. I was downtown, and we have a five star customer service event. It's just officers trying to get feedback from people riding the trains and stuff. They had one of those. Actually at our headquarters. A couple of us went to that, and then left there, and eventually gave back one of my old partners my squad car, so I was in a car with two other officers. And we were riding back, and all these calls come out. So we are just taking a whole bunch of calls. Just call after call after call. I went over to El Centro and talked to them, because they knew about the protest. They had a little bit more intel. So I was trying to get that, that way we could work

together. Because they would have their radio. And I would have my radio, and then we would know some Dallas officers that would be down there, so we would have all three of those covered. And then I left there. And that was about three o'clock. So I left there, then we went to the customer service thing, then started taking calls. It was just normal. Then we had one lady who was acting kind of crazy inside 7/11. Got her to calm down. Walked out. I was actually meeting my old partner a block down. She got stationed — I was at West End — she got stationed one station down from us, just to kind of be there during the protest. And I went to go walk a block to go eat. The officer that we lost, he's in his car, I drove down, we ate dinner. I said, "ok, I'm supposed to leave at 9." And then I got a text saying we needed to stay until 10. So I went back down there, my mom kept texting me, I called her I was like, "Mom it's just protests. Everything’s cool. Everybody’s doing fine. I got to stay till 10, I’ll text you when I’m leaving and said I'm fixing to charge my because it was down to 4%." Ok. I walked in, I plugged in my phone threw Officer Thompson the keys. Threw Brent the keys. And I'm riding in with you. He was on the phone with his wife, and I was like "I love you." Messing around with him. And I walked out the door, and another officer — we were standing on the corner talking. And we were standing there talking about the protest and how it was when MLK did all his protests, how they were, and what the differences are from then to now. And I heard a shot. We started looking around. Heard a couple more shots and we started telling people to get out of here. And then we started running towards el Centro. I made it about a block and that’s when I got hit. When I got hit, I knew something was wrong. I went down to the ground. Felt like somebody punched me in the arm. Like, really hard. And then then my arm flew and it started burning real bad. And I threw myself on the ground because I knew something wasn't right, and I started crawling away. And I hear gunfire around me, then one of my partners came up to me, picked me up, and I was like, "I've been hit." He picked me up and ran for cover and started putting pressure on my arm. Pulled my tourniquet out of my pocket, put my tourniquet on. Threw me in a squad car and took me into the hospital. I didn’t have a radio. My radio got shot. So I didn’t know anything that was going on. I was just laying in the hospital. So that was you know — a normal day haha.

The first shot was when you were running to El Centro, what were the other two shots?

I didn't know I got shot the second of third time. This one was the first shot. It went in here. And then it came out here (pointing to scars on her arm). That was the first one. That was the one I think when I was throwing myself on the ground, we think I got hit in the abdomen right here and then like, when I was turning, I had my radio right here. And my radio got hot. So that one got hit and this is my radio, then it was this corner. A quarter of an inch, and it hit my hip. That blew off my battery. So that's why I couldn't hear anything. And we didn’t even know that happened until the FBI got all my stuff.

I notice you’re wearing Brent's band, was that something that was being handed out, or was it given to people, or…

Somebody online was making these, and because I was in the hospital, and I was out for so long, and I was staying off facebook and the news and everything, I missed it. And then I found the link and I ordered it, this is something I wanted so I ordered it.

How about that other bracelet?

This one I got today. It’s the Police Chief of El Centro — Chief Hannigan — his wife ordered a bunch of them. She’s been helping us and been kind of there talking with us. Because everyone says everything's different because I'm a female. I’m the only female. They [El Centro] had two officers hurt. I used to work with one of their officers. We are pretty close down there. I was in the chief’s office at like 1:30 that day, but she got these. And I saw her today with the attorney general and she gave this to me. So she’d ordered a bunch of bracelets.

Why is it different because you are a female.

Out of everybody who was injured I got injured the worst. I got shot at three time and I got hit twice. And I hate to say this but because I know I'm being recorded, but it’s if you’re out there, female get hurts and male gets hurt, who are you going to feel more for? Generally you feel more for the female. I'm the only female that was injured. And the severity of my injuries. Out of Dart, DPD, and El Centro, I had the most injuries.

What kind of conversations did you have to have with your daughter that you never thought you wanted to have before?

Everyday, because my old schedule I worked 1pm to 9pm. So I would see her in the morning and every day she's like "Do something good for me." And I'm coming home everyday. Everyday I say, "I'm coming home." So she knows I'm coming home (bangs her hand on the table three times). Which everyone was like — I don't see how--. I don't think I should've come home that night. By the way I was hit. But she knew. She knows. She's 10, so she knows there's bad guys out there. And she knows that there are mean people. We've talked some, and we've had things and she's being good. And she knows what I do. And she knows the things that can happen. I mean, I've been in fights before. So I've come home hurt. So she knows, she just knows that there was somebody who wasn't really nice and hurt me. So she kind of saw me after I was wrapped up. So she didn't see any of the real damage.

How old is she again?

10.

So you woke up in the hospital the next day right after the shooting?

I went to the hospital that night. And I was awake the whole time until I went into surgery. Went in, they started working on my arm, then they started cutting up my uniform. That's when they found the second, because I didn't know I had gotten hit in the abdomen. That's when they found the second bullet. And then they did all the medical stuff, took me upstairs, wrapped my arm a little bit, took me upstairs. And I think I went into surgery Friday morning. It would be like 1:30 or something, around 12:00am or something. It was probably around midnight. It was Thursday night. So it was like that night and then I know I was talking to people and I was downstairs and I was talking to Doctors and the next thing I know I woke up an they were wheeling me in my

room because I don't remember anything when I first woke up. I just remember going into my room and I was in my room for a couple of minutes and then they took me it another room. They took me to a bigger room. And then just woke up and there were officers around. Family around. Friends. Just kind of out of it.

What kind of stuff do you tell yourself when you wake up and see all that?

I till didn't really know what was going on. I mean, I know i'm in the hospital. I knew stuff. I didn't know the extent of everything. Everybody had kind of told me what was going on, but they didn't really want to. I knew officers had died. By then I knew that Brent had died. Somehow I had found out because when I woke up I was asking about his wife. So, apparently I knew sometime. Right before I went into surgery, or right before I woke up, I had found out that it was him. Everybody was just "how are you doing," I was so medicated, that I really don't remember a whole lot about it. I thought I remembered to like — If I went into surgery at like 1am, that's when I was originally supposed to go in, but I don't think I went in until like 3. I was supposed to go in at 1 but they kept postponing it. I don't even know when I went in. But I know it was like Friday afternoon when I kind of remember what was going on. Because they were like "It's lunch time" and I was like "Ok." And I just remember people being around and checking on me, which I don't remember a whole lot because I was heavily medicated.

What kind of response do you saw/see from the community?

Everybody was sending wishes. If I needed something I pretty much had it. Everyone was sending cards, flowers, food, thank you's. There were people in the hospital that were around us and when you see a whole bunch of officers around the room you are kind of like "what's going on." And they were sending cards. They were saying "Thank you. Thank you for what you do." Everyone was calling us heroes. I don't think I'm a hero. I went to work that day, and I just got shot. I told everybody to leave. Nice, friendly, way of "get out of the area." One guy said I saved his life. Everyone has just been "thank you thank you." When I come in here — kind of when I go anywhere, right then, people knew me more. Right now, people still know me, they are checking on me all the time. And still, just seeing how i'm doing, how my daughter is doing. Everybody else is, pretty much if I go anywhere, somebody notices me or recognizes me. They are just, "Sorry. Thank you for what you do. Can't believe you do what you do. Are you going back?" and I'm like "yeah." "I can't believe you are going back." "I can't either." But you know. It's been really nice. You don't really think about it. People are total strangers and are thanking you. I have a job like you do. That's the way I think about it. You know, I just got shot at. I can't be a firefighter because I don't like fire. I don't want to get burned. But I can get shot at. I can't teach, because I can't be around little kids. 30 kids. One of my friends are teachers and I was like "I can't do what you do. Because I can't handle that." I'd rather had 30 bullets than 30 kids. Like, I cannot do that hahaha.

When people told you what had happened, what was your initial reaction?

Oh I was upset. I was in shock. I was upset. I was mad. I was angry. I cried. I probably screamed. I was hurt. You just have so many emotions because somebody will tell you something, but they

only want to tell you so much. They wouldn't tell me everything. You know, still to this day, there'd things I haven't seen, I haven't heard, that other people know, but they don't want to say it. But you know, I was just mainly hurt. And angry.

You are doing a lot of therapy and stuff. How long until this is going to be something you can put behind you?

Tha I don't know. I still go back to the doctor. I was in therapy this morning. Until I can get all of this repaired and my strength built back up, it's going to be months.

What are those therapy sessions like?

Hel. I mean,cried today in my therapy session.t hurt so bad. And I was lifting a one pound dumbbell. And it was — I was doing little raises like this. With both arms I had a one pound and I was crying by the end. It just hurts.

How often do you do those therapy sessions?

Two to Three times a week.

What was today?

I was told the U.S. District Attorney was coming to town and I was told I needed to be there. If somebody comes and visits, like Rick Perry was at headquarters one day. You know, different people that show up. They are like, I need you to be here on this day. If I can make it I can.

Sometimes I've had to reschedule some stuff because I really need you there. They want you there because I'm one of the injured ones. That way it kind of shows people who we are.

What scares you the most about what happened in July?

Probabl that it could happen that easily. I mean, I had a normal day. It was a normal day. Everything was, you know. Had the normal customer service. Took calls. Hey we need you to hang out — and we've had to stay over lots of times because of protests or other events that are going on. But you know, it could happen just like that. I mean, within 8 minutes I was on the way to the hospital after the first shot was fired. Within 8 minutes I was into the hospital. Then two gunshot wounds and three hits and two wounds. So you just never know what's going to happen.

What kind of issues do the force or our generation in general need to address because of this?

think respect has been lost. A lot of respect. I know when I was growing up and when he was growing up to yall growing up, to my daughter growing up, I know everything's different. Everything's changed a lot. But I think a big thing is respect. You know, there are certain people that you respect. And I'd say entitlement. I think a lot of people would say that they are entitled to stuff. Aint nobody entitled to anything. You earn it. If you are supposed to have it, then you earn it. You shouldn't just get anything like, "here you go" just 'cause. So I'd probably say those two things.

What kind of things keep you wanting to work now?

I've wanted to do this since — hell, I've grown up wanting to be a cop. And I' not going to let one person ruin my career and ruin something I've worked hard to do. It's what I want to do. I

knew going in that there's always that chance. So, I'm going back. It's not going to stop me. How old are y'all? 18. Oof. Y'all probably have not heard of this show. Have y'all heard of the show Chips? See I didn't think so. That was the 80's. Two cops. Highway patrol. They made everything look good. I was like, "I want to be a cop. I want to be a motor jock." And actually I had applied to be a motorcycle officer before I got shot. So that's going to be off for a bit. But that's what I want to do. I don't know what y'all want to do. But if something happens to you, you aren't just going to give it up because that's what you want to do.

Do you think that's common with cops around the nation?

Yo don't do it for the pay. You know you are going to get beat up. You're going to get shot at. You know that people hate you. A lot of people walk right by and get right in my face. Ok say whatever you want. I think a lot of them are like that. You know, it's what you want to do. It takes a certain type of person to do certain jobs. Like I said, I couldn't be a firefighter. I don't want to get burned. That's going to hurt. I know it's going to hurt. I know a shot's going to hurt, but a burns going to hurt. So I couldn't do that. So you have to want to do that. I'd say it's probably 50/50. But the ones that don't have a passion for it get weeded out pretty quickly when something like this happens. Because you can see the true, what's going to happen.

Have you seen cops leave the force after this incident?

I haven't personally. But I'm not around. I don't — you are used to seeing somebody every day and you are like, "oh where they at?" "Oh they quit." So I personally haven't seen it just because I'm not around. I've heard some do it, but they say it's for other reasons.

Do you think the cops who have joined the force after the incident, what do you think they are feeling right now?

I mean, I don't know. Usually we see whenever the rookies come in. But since I haven't seen anybody I really — in my mind, if after this happened and you know what happened in your hometown, then you would think they really want to do it. Nothing's going to stop them. Because if you are already in the application process then you just don't answer a phone call, or you withdraw, or whatever. And if you are in the academy, then well you quit the academy. If you make it through then there's a reason you want to do it.

Is there something about these shootings that reflect on our generation?

It's that people don't have respect.

For police officers?

I think in general. Like, I'm an authoritative figure so I draw more attention. So if somebody walks up and jumps in my face, I can't do anything, but I'm still that same person if I take off my uniform. But if I'm not in my uniform, they aren't going to get in my face and yell and have whatever their issue is. I think it's kind of generally a huge respect thing.

So not really about race or anything like that?

That I don't know. I don't know what motivates people. I know what motivated this, but I don't know what motivated anything. There was actually a shooting in South Carolina this afternoon. Because I got the text. Or i'm sorry north carolina. I mean you don't know what motivates people

to do things. It could be, like a lot of people, entitlement. You can do stuff but you can't go off of the past. The past is the past. You can try to fix stuff but there is a way to do it. Things are done differently now because people think that they are entitled to things and people don't respect people. You could do one thing and be in a uniform and they could go off on you and they are right in your face and you can't get offended. They can cus you out make up and invent words, you can't get offended. You have to stand there and take it. If you are not in your uniform, they may yell at you or something "I'm going to woop your but or something like that." But it's because of that uniform. They think they are entitled because they know if you do this, it's going to draw this attention.

Do you think it could go the other way around where police don't have respect for other people?

I have — and I had this when I worked at the jail — my mottas, "If you respect me, I respect you." If you disrespect me, i'm not going to completely lose respect, but it's going to be a lot harder to gain my trust and my respect. Because if you're not going to respect me, kill them with kindness. It's how some people are. I can't speak for any other officer. I only know how I am as an officer and as a person.

So all this police brutality is just a result of people speaking differently?

Just different views, different way people act. you know, it's different upbringings. You have people in North Dallas, you have people in South Dallas. Any city. It's just like, you have North Dallas you got South Dallas. You go to South Dallas, you act one way. You go to North Dallas, you act another way. But you are going to get treated differently too. So just because of the area.

In your time in the force have you seen this lack of respect increase?

Oh no it's increased. And I started off in South Dallas. I started off in Oak Cliff. And I've worked North Dallas. I've worked by highland park. Highland village. Plano. Downtown you get everybody. So I think it's increased because of things that are going on. You see something and you think if they got away with it, you can. If they don't get away with it, then it's