“A viscous, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”
That’s how President Obama described the ambush of police by at least one sniper in Dallas. The officers were doing their jobs, enabling and protecting a group of people peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights to protest the latest killings of black men at the hands of police officers under questionable circumstances.
37-year old Alton Sterling was shot several times in the chest as he was pinned by two white police officers on Tuesday night — graphically chronicled on video from several angles
Wednesday, 32-year old Philando Castille was shot in his car after being stopped by police for a broken tail light in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. His girlfriend broadcast the aftermath live on Facebook, demonstrating an out-of-body composure while interacting with the officer who still had his gun drawn. Her four-year old daughter was in the backseat.
Also caught on video was 25-year old Micah Xavier Johnson, the sniper in Dallas. Before he was killed in a standoff with police, Johnson said he was upset with the police shootings and wanted to kill white people.
Dallas was already infamous from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. But, according to the Washington Post, Dallas is progressively implementing police reform.
No doubt Black Lives Matter will again intersect with the Thin Blue Line this summer. Cooler heads must prevail.
Dallas Must Wake from this Nightmare United
Editorial Board – Dallas Morning News
Our hearts are broken….
A peaceful protest in downtown Dallas on Thursday night, planned to mark police shootings in other cities, morphed into a horrific sniper ambush on the men and women sworn to protect them.
These were police officers who had earlier posed for photos with the demonstrators, shaken their hands and provided security for their rally. Throughout the evening, mutual respect was visible between the two groups.
These were the police officers who, when shooting broke out from high above them, tried to make sure protesters got out of harm’s way.
These were the officers who then did what law enforcement heroes always do — they rushed toward the source of danger to try to stop its perpetrators.
American Is Driving Toward the Abyss, and It’s Time We Hit the Brakes
David French – National Review
It is extraordinary to see the extent to which ideologues will fixate on any given crime (or suspected crime) and immediately blame it on entire segments of American society, thus taking an individual crime and turning it into a group indictment….The actions of three cops (the officer who shot Castile and the officers who engaged Sterling) became stand-ins for – and alleged proof of – the racism of American police generally. Then, last night, while the police were still engaged with a shooter in Dallas, one of the most widely trafficked conservative sites in the world put up this headline:
This headline. Wow. pic.twitter.com/0ALYFLdC9T— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) July 8, 2016
When we tribalize conflict, we create a tribalized society. It’s that simple.
Death in Black and White
Michael Eric Dyson – The New York Times
A nonviolent protest was hijacked by violence and so, too, was the debate about the legitimate grievances that black Americans face. The acts of the gunman in Dallas must be condemned. However, he has nothing to do with the difficult truths we must address if we are to make real racial progress, and the reckoning includes being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed or discounted….
Prayers and condolences to all of the families who are so thoroughly devastated by the horrors we are all watching take place in our country— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2016
We all can see the same videos. But you insist that the camera doesn’t tell the whole story. Of course you’re right, but you don’t really want to see or hear that story.
At birth, you are given a pair of binoculars that see black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy. Those binoculars are privilege; they are status, regardless of your class. In fact the greatest privilege that exists is for white folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead when the encounter is over.
The Second Amendment Is So White: What the Past 24 Hours Have Taught Me About Black People’s Right to Bear Arms
Preston Mitchum – The Root
In less than 24 hours, two black men have been killed by police officers even though the Second Amendment indicates that they should have been protected. Black America yet again bears witness to state-sanctioned violence at the hands of trigger-happy rogue cops—one in Louisiana, a state that has open-carry laws, and the other in Minnesota, where the victim had a permit to conceal and carry firearms. The truth, however, is that the Second Amendment (and subsequent open-carry laws) does not apply to black people in America….
I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters, for their families & all who serve with them. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 8, 2016
In 2014, 18-year-old Steve Lohner carried a loaded shotgun as he walked down an Aurora, Colo., street and refused to show police identification. He walked away with a citation. That same year, John Crawford III, a 22-year-old man living in Dayton, Ohio, was gunned down by police in a Wal-Mart as he carried a BB gun that he’d picked up off a shelf. Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy living in Cleveland, was killed over a BB gun. Ohio is also an open-carry state. These are not isolated incidents.
(Editors note: An earlier version of this post misidentified the police officer involved in the Falcon Heights shooting as white.)