NEW YORK, July 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC joins with the city of Dallas in mourning the five police officers who were shot dead in cold blood last night, and in wishing a full and speedy recovery to the seven officers and two civilians who were wounded.
"The entire nation is reeling from the horror that unfolded last night in Dallas – the deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11," said Jason Isaacson, AJC Associate Executive Director for Policy. "We wholeheartedly agree with President Obama, who called these killings 'a vicious, calculated and despicable act.'"
The shooter, whom police killed with an explosive device, has been identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, who had said that he wanted to kill white people – and, specifically, white policemen.
The gunman opened fire during a peaceful protest in Dallas against the killing of two black men by police, one outside St. Paul, Minnesota, and the other in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – incidents recorded by witnesses and streamed on social media, sparking national outrage.
The actions of the police in both cases are under investigation. Widespread controversy over police treatment of blacks has roiled the nation since the killing of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American, in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.
"The killings this week of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, which must be fully investigated, cry out for justice – and for an appropriate, systemic response by law enforcement authorities and government leaders at every level," Isaacson said. "Police across America put their lives on the line every day to protect their fellow citizens, and often face excruciating split-second choices in situations that could veer into tragedy. We honor their selfless and essential service.
"But when the race of a suspect matters in the outcome of a confrontation with police, as the evidence has suggested in too many cases in recent months, something is broken in our criminal justice system. With honesty and respect – for all our fellow citizens and for the brave men and women in blue who protect our way of life – this failure must be acknowledged, diagnosed and repaired. Justice demands no less."
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee