Gratitude first. Citizens in Dallas, Nashville, Boston and other cities throughout the nation showed their support for police officers on Friday, July 8, one day after the tragic sniper attack on police officers in Dallas.
According to local station WFTV, hundreds of residents filled Thanks-Giving Square Park in downtown Dallas on Friday to observe a midday interfaith prayer service for the five fallen police officers — and to offer hugs to officers in blue.
As previously reported, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said during a press conference Friday that the “profession is hurting.”
“We are heartbroken,” he said of the shootings, which left five officers dead and seven other officers injured. “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.”
“[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.”
The service on Friday included remarks from different faith and civic leaders, musical tributes and prayers. Afterward, many citizens stood in line to offer their personal thanks to police officers and give them hugs for their continued service.
“It’s overwhelming,” Senior Corporal Monica Cordova told WFTV. “We were overwhelmed with grief. Now we’re overwhelmed with gratitude.”
Elsewhere in the country, in Nashville, a group of children brought police officers flowers, and in Boston, young kids dropped by police stations with handmade cards.
The lone suspect in the shooting, 25-year-old Micah Johnson, reportedly told the hostage negotiator that he was “upset about Black Lives Matter” and “the recent police shootings” of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and was looking to kill white people, especially white police officers.