Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.
The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.
Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department's homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order -- apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service -- was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena's vacant seats before Obama came on.
"Sure," said Lawrence, when asked if he was concerned by the great number of people who had gotten into the building without being checked. But, he added, the turnout of more than 17,000 people seemed to be a "friendly crowd."
The Secret Service did not return a call from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.
Dallas? Are you kidding me? Dallas? Given the reports of endless ugly threats and hate messages vomited at the Obama campaign from the maw of the right wing "culture of life" this is literally unbelievable. The 17,000 people seemed friendly, did they? I want clarification on this, immediately -- and complete National outrage if it is as bad as it sounds to ensure that nothing like this happens again.