A police officer in Texas is speaking out after he was consistently reprimanded for wearing cornrows while being in full uniform. The incident began in 2019 when Dakari Davis was told his cornrows were "unprofessional" by his colleagues.
"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?" Davis asked WFAA.
"The conversation is needed, but to have those conversations we have to admit that we have a problem."
Davis explained that a "particular Lieutenant" deemed it best to file a formal complaint regarding his hairstyle. In July 2019, Davis was ordered not to wear cornrows while in full uniform. However, he opted to earn cornrows during a police awards ceremony anyway. From there, the DART Police Department launched an internal investigation that led to Davis being placed on paid administrative leave and nearly fired from his job.
"I had a lot of support, my wife, family, friends, and coworkers, they had an intervention with me," he said about his time on administrative leave.
"While I was at home, I was depressed."
As Davis continued to struggle with the DART Police Department, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price intervened on Davis's behalf.
"The only issue you see is as he is transitioning with his hair? That’s unacceptable," Price explained.
"They basically told me to cool my jets and they told me they would handle it."
Price's actions led a reversal of the department's initial decision against Davis. A notice was also sent to DART's Chief Operating Officer Carol Wise.
Davis has returned to his position as a full-time motorcycle officer. His employer is also reviewing its dress code and standards policies.
"We are currently under a complete review of our appearance policy and as you can imagine, times change, people have different desires," DART Police Department External Relations Director Gordon Shattles stated.
"We understand that you want to be able to work your job, also you want to be able to present a bit of yourself and to present yourself in a particular way."
Photo Credit: Getty Images