Officials react, sort through Dallas tragedy


Staff and wire reports



Portman


Police officials, politicians and a startled nation continued dealing Friday with the aftermath of an attack on Dallas police Thursday night that U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said was “heartbreaking and chilling.”

Law enforcement worked to separate fact from rumor or speculation, while the Associated Press reported Friday that a Texas law enforcement official said that a slain suspect in the attack on Dallas police had been identified as 25-year-old Micah Johnson.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said he was not authorized to release the information. There were no immediate details on the suspect’s middle name or hometown.

The attack began Thursday night during a protest about the recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed and seven others were wounded. Two civilians were also wounded.

Police Chief David Brown said Friday that his department used a robot-delivered bomb to kill a suspect after hours of negotiations failed. He said the suspect expressed anger over recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Reaction from Washington and from the presidential trail began pouring in Friday. Both presidential candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, canceled planned campaign events Friday.

Trump issued a statement Friday saying, “Last night’s horrific execution-style shootings of 12 Dallas law enforcement officers – five of whom were killed and seven wounded – is an attack on our country. It is a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe. We must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street.”

Clinton said in a statement, “I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters, for their families, and all who serve them.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) issued a statement Friday saying, “The scene in Dallas last night was both heartbreaking and chilling. Police officers risk their lives every day to ensure that others can live, and even peacefully protest, in safety. To watch police officers be shot for doing their job, for protecting innocent people, is horrifying. Like everyone else, Jane and I are praying for the fallen and wounded officers and their families, friends, and colleagues. As for those who perpetrated this vicious and deliberate attack, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Dallas’ police chief said a suspect in the deadly overnight attack on police officers told negotiators that he acted alone and was unaffiliated with any group.

Chief David Brown said at a news conference Friday that the suspect also said he was upset about recent police shootings and wanted to kill white people, particularly white officers.

He said officers killed the suspect with a robot-delivered bomb after hours of negotiations failed.

Although Brown said the suspect said he acted alone, it remains unclear if that was the case. He said earlier Friday that three other suspects were in custody, but he later declined to discuss those detentions and said police still didn’t know if investigators had accounted for all participants in the attack.

The attack began Thursday night during a protest about the recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Five officers were killed and seven others were wounded. Two civilians were also wounded.

A robotics expert said Dallas police appear to be the first law enforcement agency to use a robot to kill.

Peter W. Singer, of the New America Foundation, said the killing of a suspect in Thursday night’s fatal shooting of five police officers is the first instance of which he’s aware of a robot being used lethally by police.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters that after hours of failed negotiations and in order to not put any officers in harm’s way, his department used a robot to deliver a bomb that killed the suspect. Brown said they saw no other option.

Singer said in an email Friday that when he was researching his 2009 book “Wired for War” a U.S. soldier told him troops in Iraq sometimes used MARCbot surveillance robots against insurgents.

Portman
http://timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_Portman-Rob-official.jpgPortman

Staff and wire reports

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