A Black Lives Matter protest was organized in Dallas by the Next Generation Action Network in response to the killings of two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, days before. The Dallas protest was one of several held across the United States on the night of July 7. Around 800 protesters were involved, and around 100 police officers were assigned to protect the event and the surrounding area. Before the shooting occurred, no other incidents were reported, and the event was peaceful.I frankly suspect that there may well have been more than one shooter, as earlier reports indicate. And yes, this uncomfortably echoes a certain School Book Depository incident in Dallas in November 1963.
The gunfire began in downtown Dallas at 8:58 p.m. A bystander reported hearing 50 to 75 shots. Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown said that some of the officers were shot in the back, and that the shooter had some knowledge of the protest route. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that the shooter fired from different floors of a nearby building. At least twelve officers fired back.
Another bystander, who recorded cell phone video of the event from his hotel balcony, reported observing the shooter, clad in tactical clothing and armed with a rifle, at street level. The bystander stated that the shooter loaded his rifle and began firing indiscriminately to draw officers near his position. When one officer approached a corner, the shooter engaged him in a gunfight, forcing the officer to take cover behind a concrete pillar. The shooter fired at one side of the pillar, then ran over to the other side, ambushed the officer, and shot him multiple times from behind at point-blank range, killing him. After firing additional gunshots into the officer's body, the gunman fled upon being shot at by additional officers.
Following the shooting, the gunman engaged officers in a standoff at a nearby parking garage, firing intermittently at them. One officer was injured in the shootout. A suspicious package was discovered near the garage and was secured by a bomb squad. Chief Brown later stated that the gunman had declared that the end was near, his intentions were to kill more law enforcement personnel, and that he had placed explosives all over the garage and downtown Dallas.
During negotiations, Johnson said that he acted alone and was not part of any group. The standoff ended at about 2:30 a.m. the next day, after the shooter was killed by a C-4 bomb deployed and set off by a robot. A sweep of downtown Dallas found no presence of explosives.
The targetting of police has spread across the USA, with several other incidents.
Underlying, is a wave of hostility, cast in terms of repeated media reports of police targetting blacks and murdering them. This needs to be addressed, first that there is a problem of policing, second that too many of the bloody shirt incidents are not as clearly racist murder of blacks by gangsters in blue as media and street reports too often have made out. And, given that there is a firm belief that blacks are uniquely victimised by US police, it is important to note the following Washington Post tabulation of Police shootings in the USA for 2015 (which, per reports, is not atypical):
The numbers are troubling, but show a very broad societal problem in the USA that will not be simplistically solved. There are problems of policing, of criminality, of societal instability [esp. in cities], of race, of media manipulation, of unscrupulous politicians with agendas, and much more.
I am quite concerned that many here in the Caribbean are being swept up in an atmosphere of polarised hysteria, and that we need to become far more cautious about what we believe, why.
Further to such, the following Tweets are troubling and tellingly revealing, given the importance of peace officers in the community, including the Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean community:
And, if you think I am concerned that hostility to US police can easily transfer to hostility to the police here in the Caribbean, you had better believe that I am.
Likewise, I am concerned that ruthless agit prop agitators and strategists may easily manipulate polarised people, groups and movements into fronts for terrorism and chaos, triggering the rise of a police state tyranny to restore "order" and "safety."
Where, our boys and girls can all too readily be turned into cannon fodder for such vicious agendas. Leaving us to mourn even as liberty burns up in the bonfires set by devilish tactics and behaviour.
I do that, because I saw that happen already in Jamaica in the 1970's and 80's. I saw agitators blurt out the agenda of getting the bloody shirt to stir revolution, on Mona Campus UWI in 1986. I saw the leading campus communist who dragged the student who blurted that out in a meeting, out of the meeting . . . literally, by his ear.
What will we say to those mourning those murdered in the streets by terrorists or rioters or used by ruthless agitators as cannon fodder for their revolution when the police feel forced to resort to deadly force?
If you want a deeper reference, kindly study the history of post WW I Germany as chaos and street violence opened the way for Hitler.
We need a far more balanced, mature approach. END