Society

Before Dallas Shooting, Officers Stood With Protesters

| by Michael Howard
A Dallas police officer stands with Senator Royce WestA Dallas police officer stands with Senator Royce West

Not long before a sniper opened fire on police officers in Dallas on July 7, the police department uploaded an image to Twitter showing two officers standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a protester who held a sign that said: "No justice, no peace."

"Demonstration in #Dallas @ Belo Garden Park," the tweet read. It had more than 8,000 rewteets and over 8,500 likes.

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As the protesters stressed the need for peaceful resolution to the issue of police violence against black civilians, the suspected gunman, who has been identified as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, began shooting from an "elevated position" in an "ambush-style" attack, according to CNN.

"Everyone was screaming, people were running. I saw at least probably 30 shots go off," witness Clarissa Myles said.

Johnson allegedly fled after killing five officers and wounding seven others. Police later caught up with him at a nearby parking garage, where they killed him with an explosive after negotiations failed.

Johnson reportedly had no criminal record or ties to any terrorist organization, reports CNN. He previously served in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he trained as a specialist in carpentry and masonry.

The photo on Twitter represents a sad irony of the deadly shooting rampage: Johnson targeted and killed people who were expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

Dallas police chief David Brown sounded desperate as he called for an end to the cycle of violence.

"We're hurting. Our profession is hurting," he said. "There are no words to describe the atrocity that happened in our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens."

Sources: Dallas Police Department/Twitter, CNN / Photo credit: Dallas Police Department/Twitter