#Dallas LIVE: 'Horrified' Obama stands by cops, condemns 'despicable' attacks

Jul, 08 2016 IST

#Dallas LIVE: 'Horrified' Obama stands by cops, condemns 'despicable' attacks
  • 16:31 (IST)

    Dallas police say no explosives have been found in extensive sweeps of downtown areas following the fatal shooting of five police officers and the wounding of six others by snipers. Security was tight Friday morning with numerous streets closed to vehicle traffic in the main downtown Dallas business district hours after Thursday night's attacks.

    Associated Press

  • 15:01 (IST)

    Watch: Barack Obama condemns Dallas shootings

    Dallas shootings are "wrenching reminder" of sacrifices police make, says Barack Obama.

  • 14:53 (IST)

    President Obama addresses shootings in Dallas protest from Warsaw, Poland. 

  • 14:52 (IST)

    The latest updates in Dallas shooting


    5 police officers are dead, several wounded
    Suspect involved in standoff now dead
    3 alleged suspects are in custody
    One suspect told police "the end is coming"
    He claimed bombs are planted all over downtown Dallas
    2 shooters were snipers, who shot from "elevated position"

  • 14:29 (IST)

    After reports said that suspect shot himself, Dallas Police Department released this official statement on Facebook which said that the police have "no suspects are in custody at this time."

    This is full statement:


    Tonight it appears that two snipers shot ten police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally. Three officers are deceased, two are in surgery and three are in critical condition.

    An intensive search for suspects is currently underway. No suspects are in custody at this time. We ask that any citizen with information regarding the shootings tonight call 214-671-3485.

    We will provide more information once it is available. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tonight.

  • 14:26 (IST)

    Dallas Police officers have been photographed outside the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, saluting their fellow officers who were killed in the attacks

  • 14:11 (IST)

    A senior Dallas police officer, Major Max Geron, says extensive sweeps for bombs are being conducted across the city. Earlier police said the suspect hold up at the El Centro car park, since reported dead, claimed bombs had been left “all over the place”.

  • 14:04 (IST)

  • 14:03 (IST)

  • 14:03 (IST)

    Dallas Area Rapid Transit (Dart) has released the names of three of its injured officers who are all expected to recover. They are: Omar Cannon (44), Misty McBride (32) and Jesus Retana (39). Earlier Dart confirmed that one of its officers Brent Thompson, 43, was one of the five people killed in the attack.

  • 14:01 (IST)

    Latest reports, however, said that the suspect shot himself. Firstpost, however, could not independently verify the report. 

    According to The Dallas Morning News the fourth suspect in the El Centro College garage is reported dead.

  • 13:54 (IST)

    In one of the worst mass police shootings in US history, Dallas police were in a standoff with a suspect on Friday after snipers killed five officers and wounded six during protests against the killing of two black men by police this week. Police had taken three people into custody after the ambush shooting on Thursday night that police described as carefully planned and executed. 

    Reuters quoted local media and said that the suspect is dead.


    Police were in a standoff that has extended into Friday morning with another suspect in a downtown garage, where gunfire had been exchanged, officials said.


    White House officials have spoken with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings about the shooting that turned the downtown of one of the largest U.S. cities into a sprawling crime scene and unfolded along streets that house major corporations, restaurants and courthouses.

  • 13:44 (IST)

    Suspect dead

  • 13:01 (IST)

    Fifth police officer dies in Dallas shooting

  • 12:20 (IST)

    Suspect claims he has planted bombs

    Dallas police exchanged gunfire with a suspect in a deadly shooting that has killed four officers who warned negotiators there were "bombs all over the place" in downtown Texas, officials said.

    "The suspect that we are negotiating with that has exchanged gunfire with us over the last 45 minutes has told our negotiators that the end is coming, and he is going to hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcement. And that there are bombs all over the place in this garage and in downtown," Police Chief David Brown told reporters.

    "So we are being very careful in our tactics so we don't injure our citizens in Dallas as we negotiate further." 

  • 12:17 (IST)

  • 12:16 (IST)

    Suspect not cooperating

    The suspect is not cooperating and has told negotiators he intends to hurt more law enforcement officials, the chief said.

  • 11:39 (IST)

    Watch: Vigil held for Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by police at a traffic stop

  • 11:34 (IST)

    Three people are in custody

    Dallas Police Chief David Brown says three people are in custody after snipers opened fire on police officers during protests and says a fourth person is exchanging gunfire with officers. Brown said at an early Friday morning news conference that authorities are negotiating with a suspect in a downtown parking garage who has been exchanging gunfire with officials.


    The chief says the suspect is not cooperating and has told negotiators he intends to hurt more law enforcement officials. The shooting attack killed four officers and injured seven others. It came amid protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men.

    Associated Press

  • 11:23 (IST)

    Dallas police say they are questioning two occupants of a vehicle after an officer saw a person throw a bag into the back of the vehicle and speed off.

    Police said late Thursday night that an officer spotted someone carrying a camouflage bag and quickly walking down the street. The person then threw the bag into the back of a black Mercedes and sped off at a high rate of speed.

    Police say officers followed the vehicle southbound on Interstate 35 to a point south of Dallas where they performed a traffic stop. Police then began questioning both occupants of the vehicle.

    Television footage showed many police cars surrounding a vehicle stopped on Interstate 35.

  • 11:22 (IST)

    Watch video where snipers shoot at Dallas police officers

  • 11:21 (IST)

    Associated Press reports

  • 11:19 (IST)

    Bomb squad was checking out a suspicious package discovered after the shootout, police said.

    Talking to reporters late on Thursday , Brown said police were circulating a photo of a "person of interest" in the case who appeared to be openly carrying a rifle during the march. That person turned himself in, according to a later tweet by the department.

    Another person was taken into custody after a shootout. The bomb squad was checking out a suspicious package discovered after the shootout, police said.

    Brown said Dallas police had contacted the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “to help us search for both these suspects — or maybe it’s more — and to do a very thorough search of this area where we believe there might be a bomb planted.”

  • 11:17 (IST)

  • 11:13 (IST)

    All motives on the table, says Dallas PD chief David Brown

    "We are leaving every motive on the table, we are breaking for the suspects to break. we have been monitoring social media and we are trying to ascertain whether there is any complicity on our part." 


    "There's lot of things on social media, we are pursuing anything that has any connection with the case."

  • 11:10 (IST)

    Dallas police department chief David Brown: 

    "Suspect claims to have planted a bomb at the crime scene. It still is an active crime scene."

  • 11:06 (IST)

    US aviation authorities restrict flights over Dallas after deadly shooting

  • 11:04 (IST)

    Dallas Police Department addresses media

  • 11:02 (IST)

    Killing of two black men sparks gun control debate


    Although the victims in both the Minnesota and Louisiana cases had guns in their possession, there is no indication they pointed their weapons at police. On Tuesday in Louisiana, Sterling was pinned to the ground and shot multiple times at point blank range.


    Baton Rouge police said they had responded after an anonymous caller reported being threatened by a man with a gun. Sterling's family lawyer said he was merely selling CDs outside a convenience store. A GoFundMe campaign has so far raised more than $500,000 for Sterling's children.


    Castile was the second black man in two days fatally shot by US police. They are the latest in a string of similar cases that have fueled outrage across the United States, from city streets to the White House.

  • 10:59 (IST)

  • 10:55 (IST)

    A best-selling author and radio talk-show host Larry Elder tweeted:

  • 10:54 (IST)

    Frontpage of Dallas Morning News

  • 10:49 (IST)

    Watch: Witness records sniper shooting cops in Dallas

  • 10:47 (IST)

    Dallas morning news tweeted

  • 10:47 (IST)

  • 10:38 (IST)

    Associated Press reported: 

    The search for the shooters stretched throughout downtown, an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments. The scene was chaotic, with helicopters hovering overhead and officers with automatic rifles on the street corners.


    "Everyone just started running," Devante Odom, 21, told The Dallas Morning News. "We lost touch with two of our friends just trying to get out of there."


    Carlos Harris, who lives downtown told the newspaper that the shooters "were strategic. It was tap tap pause. Tap tap pause."


    Demonstrator Brittaney Peete told The Associated Press that she didn't hear the gunshots, but she "saw people rushing back toward me saying there was an active shooter."


    Peete said she saw a woman trip and nearly get trampled.

  • 10:36 (IST)

    'Racism exists'

    In Minnesota, a visibly upset Governor Mark Dayton said Thursday there was "every indication" that police conduct in the Castile case was "way in excess" of what the situation warranted, and that race may have played a role.


    "I can't say how shocked I am and how deeply, deeply offended that this would occur in Minnesota to somebody who got pulled over for a tail light being out of order," he told reporters, calling the situation "absolutely appalling."

  • 10:35 (IST)

    US President Barack Obama, America's first black president, said it was clear the shootings were not "isolated incidents."

    "They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve," he said in a statement on Facebook.

    Obama made an emotional appeal for urgent police reform after the fatal shootings of two black men by police, as protests over the deaths erupted Thursday in major cities across the country.

    The deaths this week of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota — both caught on video — are once again fuelling a debate about police use of lethal force, especially against African-Americans.

  • 10:33 (IST)

    According to local media, Dallas police said all suspects have been arrested.Police say "danger is over."

  • 10:31 (IST)

  • 10:30 (IST)

    A bystander, meanwhile, tweeted

  • 10:27 (IST)

    Meanwhile, Dallas police department tweeted: 

  • 10:27 (IST)

    CNN reports

  • 10:21 (IST)

    Brother of the alleged suspect says "you got the wrong man"

  • 10:19 (IST)

    Texas Governor released his statement on the shootings

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement saying he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety director to offer "whatever assistance the City of Dallas needs at this time."


    "In times like this we must remember — and emphasize — the importance of uniting as Americans," Abbott said.

  • 10:18 (IST)

    Killing that propelled Dallas protests

    Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, the woman who live-streamed the aftermath of a fatal police shooting in which her boyfriend, Philando Castile, was killed, said on Thursday that she recorded the incident because she wanted “everybody in the world to see what the police do and how they roll.”

    Watch the video here

  • 10:15 (IST)

    Beyoncé reacts to killing of 2 black men, which snowballed into the violent Thursday protests

  • 10:13 (IST)

    Dallas police say a suspect in shooting of officers at Dallas protests is in custody and a person of interest has surrendered.

  • 10:10 (IST)

    According to latest reports, the suspected shooter, who allegedly "turned himself in", was not anywhere near the shooting area. 

    According to reports, Twitterati claimed that the suspect was among the crowd and not on the roof where the shootings took place. 

  • 10:08 (IST)

    Snipers shot from an elevated position

    Scores of police and security officers were on hand. Police and others hunched behind cars outside a parking garage. Officers with guns drawn were running near and into the parking garage as police searched for the shooter.

    TV cameras showed the search for the gunman stretched throughout downtown, an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments. The scene was chaotic, with helicopters hovering overhead and officers with automatic rifles on the street corners.

Multiple media outlets report that shots were fired Thursday night during a Dallas protest over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. The gunfire broke out around 8:45 pm on Thursday. Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown, about half a mile from City Hall, when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover. There was no immediate word on whether anyone had been injured.

Two snipers apparently shot 10 police officers during protests in Dallas on Thursday night and three officers are dead, the city's police chief said in a statement, Associated Press reported. A statement from Dallas Police Chief David Brown released by a city spokeswoman said "it appears that two snipers shot ten police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally."

Scores of police and security officers were on hand. Police and others hunched behind cars outside a parking garage. Officers with guns drawn were running near and into the parking garage as police searched for the shooter. TV cameras showed the search for the gunman stretched throughout downtown, an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses and some residential apartments. The scene was chaotic, with helicopters hovering overhead and officers with automatic rifles on the street corners.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw officers entering an Omni hotel building on the southwest side of downtown. TV cameras also showed officers carrying shield going into a bank building. A police dispatcher reached by the AP had no immediate comment. A spokesman for the mayor said he no information he could share. Firefighters and police at the scene were keeping people away; dozens of police cars with their lights lit up were there.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Lonny Haschel said DPS has "no information at all" about situation. He said the agency has not been asked to assist. Brittany Peete, a demonstrator, said she didn't hear the gunshots, but she "saw people rushing back toward me saying there was an active shooter."

Peete said she saw a woman trip and nearly get trampled as people ran to get to safety. "Everyone just started running," Devante Odom, 21, told The Dallas Morning News. "We lost touch with two of our friends just trying to get out of there."

Carlos Harris, who lives downtown told the newspaper that the shooters "were strategic. It was tap tap pause. Tap tap pause."

'Shootings were not isolated incidents'

US President Barack Obama made an emotional appeal for urgent police reform after the fatal shootings of two black men by police, as protests over the deaths erupted Thursday in major cities across the country. The deaths this week of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota — both caught on video — are once again fuelling a debate about police use of lethal force, especially against African-Americans.

Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds livestreamed the aftermath of Wednesday night's shooting in a Saint Paul suburb with an officer pointing his gun at her through the window as her four-year-old daughter sat in the back of the car. The 10-minute video — which shows Castile bleeding out — prompted widespread outrage and has been viewed millions of times after it was posted on Facebook.

It prompted thousands to march and chant across Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Dallas and Atlanta Thursday evening, with more than 1,000 protesters gathered in New York's Time Square.

Obama, America's first black president, said it was clear the shootings were not "isolated incidents." "They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve," he said in a statement on Facebook.

Obama urged Americans to work together to heal the divisions, while making clear that police officers should not be blamed wholesale.

"To admit we've got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day," he said.

"When people say black lives matter, it doesn't mean blue lives don't matter," he said upon arrival in Poland for a Nato summit, referring to the color of uniforms worn by American police officers.

"It's incumbent on all of us to say we can do better than this."

"This is not just a black issue. It's not just a Hispanic issue," he said. "This is an American issue that we should all care about."

Nationwide protests

Dozens of protesters — mostly young people — blocked traffic on a highway in Chicago. They marched with arms linked, chanting: "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."

About a thousand protesters clogged New York's iconic Times Square, at one point staging a sit-in. Police arrested some of them, loading them onto city buses they borrowed for the occasion.

Another thousand rallied in Washington at the White House, then marched to the US Capitol where veteran civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis stood on the steps and addressed the crowd through a bullhorn.

'Racism exists'

In Minnesota, a visibly upset Governor Mark Dayton said Thursday there was "every indication" that police conduct in the Castile case was "way in excess" of what the situation warranted, and that race may have played a role.

"I can't say how shocked I am and how deeply, deeply offended that this would occur in Minnesota to somebody who got pulled over for a tail light being out of order," he told reporters, calling the situation "absolutely appalling."

Demonstators are arrested by NYPD after they march through the city and call for justice for Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile in the middle of Times Square on Thursday. Reuters

Demonstators are arrested by NYPD after they march through the city and call for justice for Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile in the middle of Times Square on Thursday. Reuters

"Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver and the passengers, were white? I don't think it would have," Dayton said. "So I'm forced to confront, and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront, that this kind of racism exists."

Dayton has urged a federal civil rights probe into the shooting, similar to the one launched in Louisiana over the death of Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five. Speaking to reporters outside the governor's mansion after a night in police custody, Reynolds repeated what she said in the gruesome footage: that Castile was shot "for no reason."

After he was pulled over, Castile duly informed the officer that he possessed a licensed gun, she said -- and was shot as he reached for his wallet to retrieve his identification.

Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker described by relatives as a quiet, law-abiding citizen, had made no threat, Reynolds said. She said the officer, whom she described as an Asian male, made conflicting demands -- telling Castile both to keep his hands in the air and identify himself.

'It's OK, Mommy'

Reynolds said she livestreamed the event to forestall any attempt by police to deny what happened. "I didn't do it for pity. I didn't do it for fame. I did so that the world knows that these police are not here to protect us," she said.

"They're here to assassinate us, they're here to kill us because we are black." Reynolds said her phone had been seized as evidence and voiced fear of a police cover-up. In the video methodically narrated by Reynolds, Castile can be seen in the driver's seat, blood stains spreading through his white shirt.

At the end of the video, as she sits crying in the back of a police car, Reynolds's daughter can be heard telling her: "It's OK, Mommy. It's OK, I'm right here with you."

Guns in possession

Although the victims in both the Minnesota and Louisiana cases had guns in their possession, there is no indication they pointed their weapons at police. On Tuesday in Louisiana, Sterling was pinned to the ground and shot multiple times at point blank range.

Baton Rouge police said they had responded after an anonymous caller reported being threatened by a man with a gun. Sterling's family lawyer said he was merely selling CDs outside a convenience store. A GoFundMe campaign has so far raised more than $500,000 for Sterling's children.

Castile was the second black man in two days fatally shot by US police. They are the latest in a string of similar cases that have fueled outrage across the United States, from city streets to the White House.

Protests were multiplying Thursday night, with demonstrations in New York, Chicago Washington, Los Angeles and other cities.

Amplifying the horror was the video live-streamed in the shooting's aftermath by the slain man's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, as she sat in the passenger seat. Her 4-year-old daughter, Dae'Anna, was sitting in the back seat.

Outrage

Castile, 32, had been pulled over Wednesday in Falcon Heights, near Minneapolis, for a broken tail light. He was shot after informing the officer that he had a gun and a permit to carry, and then reaching for his wallet, according to Reynolds.

In the southern state of Louisiana on Tuesday, 37-year-old father of five Alton Sterling was pinned to the ground by police outside a convenience store and shot several times at point-blank range.

Protesters shout slogans in New York City against the shooting of two black men on Thursday. AFP

Protesters shout slogans in New York City against the shooting of two black men on Thursday. AFP

'Do better' 

Castile, known as "Mr. Phil," was remembered by tearful coworkers as the cafeteria supervisor who could calm rambunctious children, comfort others and make sure every student was fed even when the electricity was out.

He was described as exceedingly gentle, "one of the good guys." At the governor's mansion, Jess Banks, 41, held a sign reading, "Philando Castile fed my sons lunch. Cops fed him four bullets. Black Lives Matter."

Tammi Curtis, a 50-year old grandmother, said her two grandsons, ages 8 and 11, were students at Castile's school. They were too heartbroken to attend the vigil and the younger boy even postponed his birthday party Thursday.

"It's a tragedy," Curtis said. Hannah Lieberman, 32, said she could not bear to watch the video that shows Castile dying.

Her bottom lip trembled and tears welled as she expressed empathy for Reynolds's young daughter, who could be heard on the video comforting her mother. "I'm concerned that that child's trauma is going to be preserved forever, and that made me refrain from sharing the video widely on social media," Lieberman said.

"I'm here because I think as Minnesotans we can do better," Lieberman said. Will the protesters get the justice they demand? In the case of Cullars-Golden's son, a grand jury declined to indict the two police officers who shot him as he drove his car toward one of them.

With inputs from AFP and AP


Published Date: Jul 08, 2016 02:54 pm | Updated Date: Jul 08, 2016 02:54 pm

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