The nation has awoken to more news of death and turmoil. It was the tail end of a peaceful Black Lives Matter march in Dallas to bring attention to police brutality and excessive use of force against people of African descent, with the gathering composed of individuals from various races and ethnic backgrounds.
However, this time around, it is police departments around the nation that are now somber and saddened by the wanton loss of life.
Semi-automatic weapon fire erupted in the streets of downtown, leaving five Dallas police officers dead and 12 people wounded, including two civilians. When news reports initially began pouring in, it was immediately prognosticated that this incident was carried out by an individual, or individuals, who were upset over the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile at the hands of police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
Grainy video of the ambush of law enforcement officers began circulating on social media before the shooting stopped. One such video shows a suspect exchanging fire with police from behind a building pillar, another shows the suspect exchanging fire with police in close quarters. He is seen hitting one officer in an exchange, then standing over him and shooting the officer three more times.
The police say the shooter, identified as 25-year-old Micah X. Johnson, retreated to a parking garage near El Centro College where he continued to exchange fire with officers between attempts to negotiate.
(A photo from Johnson’s Facebook page)
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said during a press conference that the suspect told negotiators he was in fact angry over the police involved shootings that occurred this week and wanted to kill white people, white police officers especially.
He is being described as a recluse who lived with his mother and served in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Experts and pundits observing the video at cable news outlets commented on the shooter’s stealth, calm demeanor and tactics as being reminiscent of someone who had experience using a military-style assault rifle. Initial reports were of two snipers from elevated positions firing upon officers, but only one individual was seen exchanging fire with officers.
Three other suspects were taken into custody, a women apprehended at the scene as well as two suspects arrested in Oak Cliff while driving a Mercedes Benz.
This calamity is being described as the worst loss of life amid law enforcement since 9/11. Though armchair revolutionaries have sprouted up all over social media since its advent, this would be the first time that a racism-radicalized black person has resorted to such tactics in recent memory.
We will have more on this as details continue to trickle in.