The tragic shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers at a peaceful protest against police brutality on Thursday, July 7, has highlighted an issue that the profession is facing at large: a lack of trust and support.
“We’re hurting. Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting,” Dallas police chief David Brown said during a press conference on Friday, July 8. “We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop — this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”
Brown revealed that the suspect who was killed by a police bomb, Micah Xavier Johnson, told the department’s hostage negotiator that he was “upset about Black Lives Matter” and that he “was upset about the recent police shootings” of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
But Johnson’s grievances and anger about the two recent shootings, Brown added, have only cost more lives in the ongoing battle for justice.
“[They are] some of the bravest men and women you’d ever want to be associated with,” Brown said of his fallen comrades. “We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days. Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these who carried out this tragic, tragic event.”
On Thursday night, Johnson and three other unnamed suspects positioned themselves by the end of the protest route and fired shots into the crowd, with the explicit intention of killing white people — especially white police officers.
In addition to the five killed police officers, seven other officers and two civilians were wounded in the shootings, marking the incident the deadliest incident for law enforcement since September 11, 2001.
President Barack Obama spoke to reporters from Warsaw, Poland, on Friday morning, making it known that he and the rest of the nation would not tolerate individuals with such “twisted motivations.”
“There is no possible justification for these types of attacks,” he said. “Anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.”