The Dallas Morning News

Police investigat­e candidates’ campaign sign dispute

Felder says rival took down his signs; she says she’d been asked to

- By CLAIRE Z. CARDONA Staff Writer Staff writer Lavendrick Smith contribute­d to this report. Twitter: @clairezcar­dona

Dallas police are investigat­ing an incident involving a Dallas City Council candidate and the incumbent she’s challengin­g that began as a dispute over campaign signs.

Yvette Gbalazeh, who is running against District 7 council member Kevin Felder, posted a video Wednesday on Youtube that showed part of the dispute.

In the video’s descriptio­n, Gbalazeh said Felder had tried to steal one of his campaign signs from her friend’s truck and pushed her when she tried to grab it back.

She said that Felder had “trespassed and vandalized private property with his sign” and that she had been asked to take his down and put hers up.

Felder could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening but told WFAATV (Channel 8) earlier that he’d called police because he caught Gbalazeh taking his campaign signs outside an auto repair shop in Far East Dallas.

“I did nothing to her but confront her while she was taking my sign,” Felder said.

In the video, Gbalazeh’s friend is heard saying, “If it’s yours, you can get it,” before Gbalazeh gets into his truck. She tells Felder to move before they start to drive off while Felder talks on his cellphone.

“If you want your sign, get it. What’s your problem?” Gbalazeh says, and adds that Felder was “fighting me over it when I was taking it down.”

Gbalazeh told WFAA that she suffered a cut to her hand and abrasions to her leg and that her fingers were swollen during the incident with Felder.

Police said that officers had responded about noon to a call about a disturbanc­e at John West Road and North Buckner Boulevard but that when they arrived, Felder and Gbalazeh were no longer there.

Both of them reported offenses to the police later, but the department did not release details of those reports.

Police spokeswoma­n Nicole Walton said investigat­ors were aware of the video.

“The Dallas Police Department will thoroughly investigat­e the reported incident,” she said.

Felder said he had filed a complaint because Gbalazeh has taken his campaign signs down before.

Gbalazeh, an activist known for her “Will Rap 4 Weed” signs, is one of eight candidates vying for Felder’s seat in the May election. She declined to comment further Wednesday night.

Felder is fighting a felony charge of accident involving injury in a February incident. Police said Felder collided with someone riding a scooter in South Dallas and exchanged words with the person before leaving the scene.

Felder’s attorney, Pete Schulte, has said that there was no collision and that Felder only confronted someone for “zigzagging” on Malcolm X Boulevard.


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