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Gay officer among those shot in Dallas; groups comment on developments
2016-07-08

This article shared 669 times since Fri Jul 8, 2016
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A former Army reservist who served a tour in Afghanistan went on a shooting rampage over July 7-8 during a protest over recent police shootings of African-American men in Minnesota and Louisiana, killing five police officers ( including an openly gay individual ) and wounding up to nine others.

Police used a "bomb robot" on July 8 to end a long standoff in a Dallas parking garage and kill the gunman, identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, a Dallas-area resident who said he "wanted to kill white people." ( Johnson's actions were separate from the peaceful protest that took place. )

The New Civil Rights Network noted that Jesus Retana—who has worked for Dallas Area Rapid Transit ( DART ) for the last 10 years—was among the officers wounded. Retana married Andrew Moss, a former DART officer himself, in 2008.

President Obama has commented, "We still don't know all the facts. What we do know is that there has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. Police in Dallas were on duty, doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests.

"As I told [Dallas] Mayor [Mike] Rawlings, I believe that I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events, and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas. According to police, there are multiple suspects. We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations. But let's be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement. The FBI is already in touch with the Dallas police, and anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done."

In a statement, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, "This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss. The peaceful protest that was planned in Dallas last night was organized in response to the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.

"After the events of this week, Americans across the county are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty and of fear. These feelings are understandable and they are justified. But the answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence.

"Rather, the answer must be action: calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action. We must continue working to build trust between communities and law enforcement. We must continue working to guarantee every person in this country equal justice under the law."

LGBT group Lambda Legal issued a statement from Roger Poindexter, South Central Regional Office director and National Board of Directors Co-chair Tracey Guyot-Wallace, both based in Dallas. They said, "It's a sad day for our city. Our hearts go out to the families of the officers who were killed or injured. Gun violence everywhere must end. Shooting random police officers at a peaceful protest isn't the answer to anything."

In a separate statement, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, "We are shocked and sickened by the calculated attack on law enforcement in Dallas last night that has left five officers dead and at least nine other officers and civilians wounded. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who were senselessly murdered protecting a peaceful protest, and to the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Department, and the broader community they nobly served.

"There is no justification for this cold-blooded assault on law enforcement officers who go to work each day to protect the public. In the aftermath of Orlando, the LGBTQ community saw police officers across the nation work even harder to protect our safe spaces, and we know how dangerous their jobs can be."

Locally, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression also condemned the shooting attack on Dallas police. Frank Chapman said, "We reject any effort to hold the movement for justice—which has always been a non-violent mass movement—in any way responsible for this crime." ( The Alliance has called for a mass demonstration at the Federal Building in Chicago at 4:30 p.m. on July 11 that the Department of Justice prosecute police officers who have murdered Black and Latino people. )

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, "All of America woke up this morning to the horror of police officers being ambushed in Dallas, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. It is a tragedy that follows two other shocking shootings in Baton Rouge and in Minneapolis.

"As a country and as a city we can never accept acts of violence anywhere, at any time, against anyone, for any reason. We cannot be a country where our differences define us — be it profession, race, creed, or sexual orientation. We must recommit ourselves to our common values to confront corrosive violence. We must build a dialogue that builds trust between us all. That is the foundation of this nation, that is what binds us together, and that is what we all must strive towards every day."

See related coverage at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Atty-Gen-Lynch-statement-on-Dallas-shooting-of-police/55803.html .


This article shared 669 times since Fri Jul 8, 2016
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