Thursday night, July 8, 2016. Dallas. 12 officers shot, 5 killed, 7 wounded.
Police used a “bomb robot” early Friday to kill a gunman after five police officers were killed and seven others wounded in downtown Dallas during a protest over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, officials said.
“We cornered one suspect and we tried to negotiate for several hours,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said during a Friday morning news conference, but “negotiations broke down” and turned into “an exchange of gunfire with the suspect…”
Brown said a hostage negotiator spoke with the gunman at length before he was killed about 2:30 a.m.. The chief said the attacker said he was upset “with white people” and with recent police shootings. The suspect also said that he was not affiliated with any groups and that he acted alone, Brown said.
“The suspect said we will eventually find the IEDs,” Brown said, a reference to explosives. “He wanted to kill officers. And he expressed killing white people, killing white officers, he expressed anger for Black Lives Matter.”
One can easily reach the conclusion that it was likely the Dallas shooter was reacting to two separate incidents in the previous days in which white police officers used what appeared at first glance to be excessive deadly force against black men – Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castille in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Investigations have yet to be concluded in each of those cases, so the facts have yet to be fully ascertained.
On Friday, in what can only be described as copycat acts on the heels of the massacre in Dallas, police in Tennessee, Georgia, and Missouri reported that officers have been targeted for violence, with wounded officers in Georgia and Missouri hospitalized, and in stable condition.
On Sunday, Police in St. Paul, Minnesota said at least 5 officers were injured after protesters who were blocking Interstate 94 hurled rocks, firecrackers and at least one Molotov cocktail at them. According to Fox 9, protesters also threw bricks, glass bottles and construction rebar at the officers.
It goes without saying that some of our police have been captured on video mistreating civilians they were sworn to serve and protect, sometimes causing grievous injury and even death. More than once a police shooting has taken on the cast and feel of a public execution, and not merely a tragic act of justice. In the minds of many, the police themselves have become a problem.
This video demolishes the dangerous myth that the police are a brutal, violent pack of thugs carrying out acts of violence while on a murderous rampage:
The deliberate violence against police officers is not only tragic on an individual level, but also deeply damaging to society. It creates a climate of chaotic lawlessness, placing the safety of everyone at immediate risk, and upends the foundational principles of organized civilization at stake. At the same time, in many cases the police have been the only bulwark against a descent into utter chaos and the corresponding suffering.
America doesn’t have a gun problem, but a heart problem. What else could explain what appears to be the unleashing of mass derangement, this pandemic of madness? A suspect who was killed by police after 12 Dallas officers were shot, five fatally, who threatened to kill more with bombs, and said he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
America doesn’t have a police violence problem, but a justice problem. The laws and regulations imposed from on high are in desperate need of reform. Police forces across the nation have been over-burdened, forced to confront every societal failure created by a destitute leftist agenda. They must be reconnected with the communities they are meant to serve, rather than existing solely as revenue collection arms of municipalities or as adjunct troops of an overreaching federal government.
The lack of leadership – especially from the top – contributes directly to the problem, in many ways helping to worsen the divisions and tensions by either implicitly blaming police without waiting for pertinent facts to emerge, or tacitly supporting those who do, and by dissembling about motives, background or intentions of perpetrators and by intensifying hostility against police as the first reaction upon the airing of a tragedy.
It does a disservice not only to justice, but to the truth when the President of the United states says mendaciously and blithely, “First of all, I think it’s very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter… I’ll leave that to psychologists and people who study these kinds of incidents… I think the danger is that we somehow suggest the act of a troubled individuals speaks to some larger political statement across the country.”
This video perfectly juxtaposes Obama’s vapid statement with the straightforward and honest one by Dallas police chief David Brown, who reported unambiguously that the dead cop killer “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
Behold, Obama’s America. We have been “fundamentally transformed.” The example is set from the top. Lawlessness and authoritarianism trickles down. The current regime is toxic, having not only failed to fulfill promises of unity and civility, but of betraying those same promise by exacerbating already existing tensions and cynically politicizing them to advance political agendas. We are more divided, more politically polarized, more ideologically separated than any time since the late 1960’s.
Worse still, neither of the two presumptive nominees – neither one – have much hope of bridging the divide, or of bringing healing and reconciliation to a sharply split nation, or of reforming the American justice system to address fundamental failings and fatal flaws. The center cannot hold. America needs honest, clear-eyed and principled leadership – qualities sorely lacking right now, and nowhere on the horizon.