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Dallas Shooting Tag

The assassination of five Dallas cops last July left Dallas, TX, and the whole nation in shock. NFL team Dallas Cowboys wanted to honor the fallen cops with an Arm-In-Arm decal on their helmets, but the league said the team must remove the decals once preseason starts.

The Dallas Police Department lost five officers on July 7, but instead of people backing away from the job, the department still receives applications from people to join the force. Officials received 467 applications days after the attack with more coming in each week.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has found that shooting deaths of law enforcement has risen to 78% in 2016 from 2015. The majority of those officers died in "ambush-style killings." The report runs from January to July 20 and compares the stats from the same time period last year, which means it includes the Dallas and Baton Rouge officer assassinations. Those killers stated they wanted to kill white cops due to recent killings of black people from cops. Another study showed, though, that police violence against citizens remains unbiased.

My colleague Mary Chastain reported that Black Lives Matter activists in Wichita, KS, joined their local police department for the First Steps Cookout to bring together their community. San Diego took a different, though similar approach. City officials, area clergy, and our police representatives came together by our famous Balboa Park fountain in a display of civic unity.
"There is no doubt that our nation is hurting," San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told the crowd. "The recent string of unjustifiable deaths cuts all of us deeply. From Dallas to Baton Rouge and (other cities), this loss of innocent lives has left all of us raw."

As I mentioned earlier this week, I've been greatly encouraged that post-Dallas Shootings, there seems to be a collective denial of the usual gun control nonsense in favor of heartfelt conversations about race. Communities nation-wide aren't the only entities engaging with one another. Sen. Tim Scott gave a series of speeches on the Senate floor this week, detailing his personal encounters with institutional discrimination. His tone was not accusatory, but expository. His hope? To bring a better understanding of the reality many in this country face.

President George W. Bush spoke at the memorial service for the fallen Dallas officers killed in last week's attack. His remarks were a welcome departure from the current narrative and a reminder that principled leadership can still be found in this country. Speaking of American values and our common bond, President Bush said, "we have never been held together by blood or background. We are bound by things of the spirit, by shared commitments to common ideals." "Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions," he observed.

I've been surprisingly encouraged post-Dallas shootings. Rather than surrender to the usual partisan bias, Americans from all walks of life are working together, praying together, and recognizing the country's dire need for change. Real change. This video captures once such instance. When protesters and counter-protesters crossed paths in the streets of Dallas, they didn't fuss or fight. They met on neutral turf and prayed together.

Five Dallas cops lost their lives protecting citizens in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter protest. The victims included veterans, husbands, and fathers. The killings were the deadliest attack on police since September 11, 2001. Their coworkers and family members remember them as "caring, dedicated and professional."

Given what we know about the Dallas sniper, it's clear to most of us what his motive was in shooting and killing five officers.  As Mary noted, not only did he tell the police negotiator that he wanted to kill "white people, especially white police officers," but he was also inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and had a long history of not respecting authority.  He was also noted to have gone "all Black Panther" and to have been hording bomb-making materials and an assortment of weapons, presumably for some future plans he may have had. Nonetheless, one prominent progressive with a history of promoting the Black Lives Matter movement is completely confused by and uncertain about the sniper's motives.

Officials have revealed that Micah Johnson, who shot five cops in Dallas, sexually harassed a female soldier in Afghanistan. Before dying, Johnson told the cops he wanted to kill white officers. Johnson served as a private first class in the Army Reserve for six years. But while serving in Afghanistan in 2014, a female soldier accused him of sexual harassment when he allegedly bought her items from Victoria's Secret. She asked her superiors for a restraining order:

In the wake of the horrifying and incomprehensible shootings in Dallas that left four police officers and one rapid transit officer dead and another seven people wounded, Heather MacDonald appeared on Rush's radio show. She shared statistics and asserted that the entire Black Lives Matter movement is "based on a lie." MacDonald, you may recall, made similar points on a radio podcast interview that we posted at Legal Insurrection about the Black Lives Matter movement and the threat they pose to our nation’s police officers. In that interview, MacDonald "spoke out against the crippling influence that the “Black Lives Matter” movement is having on the quality of life in the very neighborhoods where the protests are taking place":
I think this is an even more extreme example of the way this country deals with race and policing, which is to talk fanatically about police in order not to talk about the far more difficult problem of black crime.

The horrific Dallas massacre of peace officers has resulted in an amazing outpouring of support not only from celebrities and politicians but from ordinary people all across America who are reaching out to show their support for and appreciation of their local police departments. In Dallas, crowds gathered to hug and say "thank you" to Dallas PD:
Police Chief David Brown received a long and loud round of a applause before he spoke at a midday, citywide prayer service here. Police work is a job where you seldom hear the words “Thank you,” he said. The hundreds of residents who packed Thanks-Giving Square Park in downtown Dallas responded with a resounding, “THANK YOU!” After the service, which featured remarks from faith and civic leaders, musical tributes and prayers, many of those in attendance stood in line to offer their personal thanks to men and women in uniform. Soon, everyone started hugging.
In Alabama, a "thin blue line" initiative has been picked up by Alabamians eager to show their support and respect for local law enforcement:
A Texan has developed the “Safe Harbor Initiative,” using the “thin blue line” as a signal of support to community police officers, and many Alabamians are participating.

Following the horrific violence and murder of police officers in Dallas this week, conservative talk host Rush Limbaugh made a disturbingly plausible prediction on his show. Rush suggested that Dallas might just be the beginning of something and that the next targets could be the Republican National Convention and the Democratic Convention after that. The Washington Free Beacon reported:
After Dallas, Rush Limbaugh Predicts Republican and Democratic Conventions Will Be Attacked Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh predicted Friday that both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions later this month will be the next targets of an attack after the police killings Thursday night in Dallas.

Morning Joe did a very decent job today of covering the shooting of police officers in Dallas and the issue of police shootings of African-American. The remarks were generally even-handed. Even Al Sharpton was cautious and balanced in his comments. And so it was surprising that of all people, Chuck Todd made the most tendentious remark. Speaking of the shooting of Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, and discussing the need for better police training, Todd said: "how do you train prejudice and hate out of somebody's heart? That's a tough thing." Is there racism among police? Of course, as there is in every segment of society. Was the Minnesota governor right when he said Castile would be alive if he were white? Quite possibly. But for Todd to focus on police "prejudice and hate" was a gross and unfair overgeneralization. Chuck Todd: please spend a few days in a police cruiser in an inner city. See what the police see and have to deal with every day. Then come back and tell us whether police "prejudice and hate" is the key to the problems facing our society.

Thursday night, a man shot twelve law enforcement officers, killing five. Two civilians were also shot. Three of the wounded officers and one of the deceased were Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers. Mark Hughes was wrongly identified as a suspect, but turned himself in and was quickly released. So far, police have identified four suspects. Three are in custody, one is a woman. According to CBS News, they worked together with the goal of killing as many officers as possible. According to the Dallas Police Chief, at least one suspect told the hostage negotiator he was upset over BlackLivesMatter, was upset about recent police shootings, and was upset at and wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. The suspect also told the hostage negotiator that he was not affiliated with any groups and that he acted alone.