Eleven officers and one civilian shot "ambush-style," five fatally, after a protest against police brutality came to an end in Dallas.
Eleven police officers were shot, five fatally, as a protest against the police shootings of black men by police officers this week came to a close in Dallas tonight.
The protest in Dallas, Texas was agt police brutality, in which recent events left two black men unrightfully dead in Minnesota and Louisiana.
As the protest was ending, police officers were protecting the protestors when sniper fire rained down on them from the suspects and eleven of them and one civilian were wounded, many having been shot in the back. It was just before 9pm and five officers were confirmed dead.
A SWAT team was involved in a shootout with one of the suspects following reports of them negotiating with the shooter in a parking garage and officers took him into custody at about 11:30pm local time. Another suspect, whose photo was circulated online by the Dallas Police Department, turned himself in soon after.
The suspects may have also threatened to plant a bomb in the downtown area and police announced that a “suspicious package” was found near the suspect that was taken into custody. As a result, public transit has been shut down due to “criminal activity.”
As chaos ensued, the Dallas Police Department tweeted a photo of a suspect and said, “Please help us find him!”
In a press conference, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said,
“We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches in garages in the downtown area, and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could.”
About 800 people were involved in the demonstration and 100 officers were assigned to the event and the surrounding area. The demonstration had ended and a march through downtown was taking place when the shooting started.
The protest was one of several held in cities nationwide following the police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Alton Sterling was mercilessly shot in the head at point blank range while two officers held him down tightly after he resisted arrest for selling CDs outside a store. He was likely resisting arrest because he was allowed to sell the CDs and didn’t understand the charges against him. When it turned out he was armed, the officers grew nervous even though they were holding him down and shot the father to death.
In St. Paul, Minnesota, Philando Castile was pulled over for a broken taillight and informed the officer that he was licensed to carry a gun and was going to slowly reach for his wallet. Before he could reach his wallet, the officer shot him four times in the arm and Castile died soon after in the car. The aftermath of the incident was caught on camera and his distraught girlfriend explains what happened while Castile lays dead next to her with her 4-year-old in the backseat.
Both of these deaths of black men at the hands of police officers are inexplicable, unjustifiable, and likely driven by race. It’s easy to understand why many are protesting these deaths in order to get justice for the deceased and prevent these shootings from continuing in the future.
A protestor in New York, Lawrence Amsterdam, explains the dilemma perfectly:
“It’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. But the way I see it, it’s murder first and ask questions later.”
As the nation continues to heat up over these issues, the lives of officers are now more at risk than ever before. Unfortunately, these officers were caught in the line of fire of an age-old problem of racial injustice and police brutality but hopefully the violence and murder can cease so that the nation can achieve peace.
This story is still in progress with both suspects recently placed in custody.
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