3:46 P.M.: From Black Lives Matter’s official statement, this rather remarkable line stands out: “To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible.” Indeed.
3:31 P.M.: Police chief David Brown with some stirring comments earlier this morning: “We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days.”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 8, 2016
3:22 P.M.: Johnetta Elzie, a leading activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, thinks there’s a conspiracy afoot. She suggested in no uncertain terms that the Dallas attack was intentionally carried out in order to undercut support for the movement:
From my experience, whenever public opinion shifts to strongly support the movement an act of violence against the police happens.
— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) July 8, 2016
I will not let go of the fact that I know cointelpro exists.
— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) July 8, 2016
Crying “false flag” is a common tactic of the fringe.
3:12 P.M.: Let’s take a look at last night’s victims, whose lives were so tragically cut short:
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 8, 2016
2:57 P.M.: Did Micah Johnson act alone?
A definite answer to that crucial question has so far been elusive. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, it seemed impossible that one gunman could have effected so much carnage. Law enforcement claimed to be on the lookout for multiple snipers. Initial reports suggested up to four, and alleged that they coordinated their positions for maximum damage. As the dust settles, though, the story is changing. The New York Times reports that he “appears to have been the only gunman.” But that doesn’t mean he acted alone:
Three other people were in custody, but officials have not said what roles they may have played.
As noted earlier, police chief Brown made conspicuous reference to the “well-planned” nature of the shooting and used the word “suspects,” plural. So even if Johnson was the only shooter, there are signs that he was not alone in the planning of the attack. Still, more information about these other suspects is needed.
2:45 P.M.: Micah Johnson was a member of a Facebook group titled “AADL – African American Defense League” that regularly called for violent action against police officers. “ATTACK EVERYTHING IN BLUE EXCEPT THE MAIL MAN,” read one recent post. “The highlight of our occasion will be to sprinkle Pigs Blood!” read another.
2:13 P.M.: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings: “This is on my generation of leaders . . . we have led the next generation down a vicious path of rhetoric and actions that pit one against the other.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 8, 2016
1:57 P.M.: ABC News reports:
Authorities have apparently finished an initial search of the home of a suspect in the deadly attack on Dallas police officers.
Agents in Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives vests on Friday carried several bags of unknown materials from 25-year-old Micah Johnson’s home in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite.
1:49 P.M.: Solidarity in the face of division:
1:39 P.M.: This photograph of Micah Johnson was found on his Facebook page:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 8, 2016
As details continue to trickle in, a profile of the suspect is emerging. Johnson, described as a recluse, identified with black nationalist groups, even if he was not officially affiliated with any. His Facebook profile picture, seen above, and his cover photos make heavy use of militant and separatist imagery common to the black-nationalist movement. Johnson also served in the Army Reserves and is reported to have been deployed to Afghanistan as an engineer. And, of course, his comments and actions last night indicate a specific disdain for white people and police officers.
1:31 P.M.: Language being used by Dallas police chief David Brown suggests that the DPD believes multiple suspects, not just Micah Johnson, orchestrated and carried out the attack:
— ABC News (@ABC) July 8, 2016
1:12 P.M.: The Intercept is compiling eyewitness video from last night’s attack. Perhaps the clearest view of the scene is here:
11:33 A.M.: In the wake of last night’s shooting, Dallas police chief David Brown is making it clear that he welcomes peaceful demonstrations. Brown: “We’re not going to let a coward who would ambush police officers change our democracy.”
11:27 A.M.: This video, from an eyewitness of last night’s attack, captures a harrowing exchange of gunfire:
11:20 A.M.: Front page of today’s Dallas Morning News:
The front page of Friday's Dallas Morning News following Thursday's shootings downtown. pic.twitter.com/ExIlxEMA9V
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) July 8, 2016
11:12 A.M.: The deceased gunman has been identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, reports BNO News:
Police have identified Dallas gunman as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, who police said had no criminal record and was a recluse
— BNO News (@BNONews) July 8, 2016
11:04 A.M.: Via the New York Times:
At least one sniper, who said he wanted to shoot white police officers, killed five officers and wounded seven others in a coordinated ambush at a demonstration in Dallas on Thursday night against police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, officials said. The sniper was killed, and three other people are in custody, officials said.
During an hourslong standoff after the attack, in which two civilians were also wounded, one suspect told police negotiators that “he was upset about Black Lives Matter,” the Dallas police chief, David O. Brown, said on Friday.
“He said he was upset about the recent police shootings,” Chief Brown said. “The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
The police killed that suspect using an explosive delivered by a robot, he said, and arrested three other people. The chief said the snipers had worked together, firing rifles from triangulated positions, some of them looking down from elevated posts in downtown buildings.
We’ll update the Corner as more information becomes available.