The Dallas Shootings, July 7th 2016

Many of those who have watched or read the news regarding the events that have unfolded in Dallas earlier this week will already be aware of the fatal shootings of five officers who lost their lives. So before I get into the details of what went down I would like to take a moment to remember the men who were killed on this fateful night.

**

5
Lorne Ahrens,    Michael Krol,    Michael Smith,    Brent Thompson  &   Patrick Zamarripa

Senior Corporate Lorne Ahrens, who had served 14 years in the Dallas Police force. Remembered by his colleagues as someone who was extremely passionate about his work and always dedicated to improving himself.

Michael Krol, a 40 year old originally from Michigan who had served on Dallas police force since 2007. He will be remembered as a big guy with a big heart who gave his life in the service of others.

Sergeant Michael Smith, a 55 year old army ranger veteran and father of two teenage daughters. Who will be remembered eternally as a devoted husband, father, friend and police officer and above all, a hero.

Brent Thompson, a 43 years old father of six and newly wed, who had married a fellow officer just two weeks prior. Thompson had worked as a member of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority for seven years. He will be remembered as a great officer who served admirably and was highly respected.

Patrick Zamarripa, a 32 year old with a newborn baby daughter who had served three tours in Iraq, one of the worlds most dangerous regions. Remembered by his father as a humble young man who lived his life to help and protect people.

May they rest in peace.

**

The protest in Dallas was one of several being held around the U.S following police shootings earlier this week on two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. Protesters, though angry, were strongly united in a sense of peace even stopping to snap photos with police attending the event which were later posted to social networking site, Twitter.

Although officers originally believed there to be multiple snipers involved, police later confirmed that Micah Johnson was acting alone. Police have confirmed however that they are continuing to interview people who may have been linked to the attack as the investigation unfolds.

During negotiations with the gunman, Johnson threatened that he had placed bombs around the city. As of yet however none have been found and police are confident that the area has been cleared.

The gunman, confirmed to be Micah Johnson was a 25 years old military veteran deployed as an army reserve in Afghanistan in 2013. Johnson’s army career was cut short however after he was accused of sexually harassing another female soldier during his service abroad.

In addition to the twelve police officers shot by Johnson, five of which were fatally injured, two civilians were also shot including a mother who was reportedly shot in the back of the leg before jumping to shield her 15 year old son. Fortunately both survived the attack and despite the mother requiring surgery, all survivors are expected to make full recovery.

The shootings in Dallas mark the deadliest attack on police since 9/11 and were a horrific end to what had been an otherwise peaceful event.

A witness and protester at the event had this to say about the moment chaos broke out in Dallas,
‘On our way back towards the park during the march, the first of the shots went off but we just assumed they were fireworks. After the second round of shots were fired though, people went into panic and began to scatter. I tried to tell everyone to remain as calm as possible but after the third round of shots people started running down the road. There were a lot young people here, of all colors and we had to help each other get away safely. What had been a peaceful march turned to chaos in under 5 minutes!’

At about 9 pm, officers first began to radio in confirming that shots had been fired. What ensued was a police chase throughout the city which finally came to an end several hours later after failed negotiations with the gunman.

During negotiations the gunman reportedly told police that he was angry about the recent police violence and the brutality towards black people. He also claimed not to be tied to Black Lives Matters or any other political party, instead expressing anger towards the Black Lives Matter cause and stating that he wanted to “kill white people, especially white officers.”

After two hours of failed negotiations and 11 officers down, the decision was made to bring in a robot usually used for entering an area to detonate or remove explosives to take out the gunman. This is believed to be the first use of an automated device by American police in this sort of situation and has caused controversy over militarization in the police force.

David Brown, Police Chief for the Dallas Police was quick to defended the move saying in a press conference, ‘We were on the 2nd floor of the college and had tried to negotiate for two hours, after negotiations broke down we saw no other option than to use the bomb robot. We placed a device on its extension so that we could detonate a bomb where the suspect was. We had to act quickly but all other options would have exposed officers to further danger.’

In the days following the attack, police are still investigation possible suspects who have may been linked to the violence and have also found among Johnson’s belongings, a personal journal with entries on combat tactics, bomb making materials, ballistic vests and rifles.

– The Rambler, 2016.

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