DALLAS – Dallas Police officers are angry and hurting, but they will resist blaming protesters for the acts of a lone shooter who killed five police officers and injured seven others, Ron Pinkston, president of the Dallas Police Association said.
Thursday night’s shooting during a peaceful march in downtown Dallas to recognize the deaths of young black men at the hands of police earlier in the week in Louisiana and Minnesota, set off reactions, ranging from a yearning for unity and frustration with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Blame should fall on the “cowardly” shooter, not the protesters “who had a peaceful march until at that point and it turned violent,” said Pinkston, after visiting several of the families of the slain officers Friday. “All those people weren’t out there shooting police. It was a few. And we can’t label those people like those few. And we won’t do that.”
Police identified the shooter as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25. During an hours-long negotiation with police before police killed him with a robot-detonated bomb, Johnson said he wanted to kill white people, particularly white police officers.
Pinkston said people need to take a step back and begin supporting law enforcement again, but said officers will not let the act of one man deter their mission in the Dallas Police Department.
“We’re going to continue to go out and serve all the citizens of the city of Dallas. We’re not going to let this hatred dictate any of that,” he said.
Following the shootings, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took a different perspective on Friday. He blamed Black Lives Matter for the shooting, saying the movement’s “hatred towards police” led to the shootings.
“All those protesters last night, they ran the other way expecting the men and women in blue to turn around and protect them,” he said in an interview. “What hypocrites!”