DALLAS (TIP): At least one sniper shot 14 people, killing five police officers, in Dallas late Thursday, July 7 night, turning a peaceful protest against the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, into a scene of chaos and carnage.
The wounded include seven police officers and two civilians. It was the deadliest day for US law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks.
One suspect has been identified as Micah X. Johnson, according to media reports. Johnson died after a standoff with police that lasted hours and ended when the police sent in a robot with a bomb and detonated it, killing him.
This is an ongoing breaking news story, meaning the facts are likely to change as events continue and new information emerges.
Highlights● A few minutes before 9 pm local Dallas time, as the protest was ending, gunfire rang out.
● At least one sniper shot 12 police officers and two civilians from elevated positions along the protest route, according to Dallas police and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.
● Five of those officers have died: 4 were Dallas Police Department officers and one was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer.
● The suspect killed in a standoff with police was Micah X. Johnson of Mesquite, Texas, according to the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. The US Army confirmed Johnson had been an enlisted soldier, who had served a tour in Afghanistan, the AP reported.
● Johnson was involved in an armed standoff with police that lasted for several hours. According to police, the standoff ended when police sent in a “bomb robot” and the resulting explosion killed the suspect.
● The 9 people who were injured do not have “life-threatening” injuries, according to Rawlings, and Dallas Police Chief David Brown stated that most of them have now been released from the hospital.
● Brown said that during the “negotiations” with the armed suspect, the suspect said he was “upset about Black Lives Matter” and recent police shootings. The suspect said he was “upset with white people” and that he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
Obama says US police must reform and calls the incident as “Vicious, Calculated and Despicable”
US President Barack Obama said that the fatal shootings of black men by police this week were “symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities” and all Americans should be troubled by these incidents of brutality.
“All of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings, because these are not isolated incidents. They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system,” Obama said.
“Last year, African-Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites. African-Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites. African American defendants are 75 per cent more likely to be charged with offenses carrying mandatory minimums. They receive sentences that are almost 10 per cent longer than comparable whites arrested for the same crime,” he said after landing in Warsaw, Poland, to attend the NATO Summit, according to an official statement here. So that if you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 per cent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population. Now, these are facts,” he said.
“And when incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us,” Obama said.
“This is not just a black issue. It’s not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about. All fair-minded people should be concerned,” he said.
Obama spoke a day after the fatal shooting of a black man by the police in Minnesota. The incident was captured in a cell phone videos that quickly went viral and sparked renewed discussions about police brutality against African-Americans.
In another video-recorded killing incident, a black man was slayed after scuffled with two white police officers on the pavement outside a convenience store Louisiana on Tuesday.
Obama said these shootings were not just an issue of law enforcement, but were reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job. “If communities are mistrustful of the police, that makes those law enforcement officers who are doing a great job and are doing the right thing, it makes their lives harder,” he said.
“So when people say “Black Lives Matter,” that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter; it just means all lives matter, but right now the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents,” he added.
Obama to travel to Dallas, cut European trip short: WH
US President Barack Obama will cut short a trip to Europe and travel to Dallas next week in the wake of the deadly ambush in Dallas that left five policeofficers dead, the White House has said. “The president has accepted an invitation from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to travel to Dallas early next week,” spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement yesterday, adding that Obama would return to the United States tomorrow night — one day ahead of schedule.
Obama, who was in Warsaw this week attending a NATO summit, weighed in on the attacks from the Polish capital, calling the episode “vicious, calculated and despicable.”