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City of Dallas responds to hometown tragedy

City of Dallas responds to hometown tragedy

A memorial is set up outside of Dallas Police Headquarters to memorialize five police officers who died after a sniper ambushed them ending a peaceful protest on July 7 in Dallas. The protest was in regards to the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Eleven other officers were injured on Thursday evening.

City of Dallas responds to hometown tragedy
July 12
18:55 2016

Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

@TomasGvisuals

Rain washes the blood of the fallen and the injured.

Five police officers have died. Eleven have been injured. Dark clouds loom over a Dallas stricken by hatred.

“What happens now?” San Antonio police officer Luis Sone asks. “This is unprecedented.”

Two days before the rain, a peaceful protest on July 7 concluded with an ambush on policemen by a single gunman — Micah Xavier Johnson, a military veteran. Negotiations between Johnson and police ended with a robot-guided bomb that killed him.

Luis Sone and Maritza Garcia, mourn over the five police officers who died June 7th in Dallas, TX. A memorial of two police vehicles sat outside Dallas Police Headquarters, where people can be seen writing condulgences to the lives lost late Thursday evening, early Friday morning. Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

Luis Sone and Maritza Garcia, mourn over the five police officers who died June 7th in Dallas, TX. A memorial of two police vehicles sat outside Dallas Police Headquarters, where people can be seen writing condulgences to the lives lost late Thursday evening, early Friday morning. Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

Flags are at half-mast throughout Dallas and Fort Worth. Skyscrapers tower over streets lined with law enforcement. Media cover the corners of the events that ensued early Friday morning. An eerie silence fills the city with sorrow and mourning.

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A man holds a candle at a vigil for five police officers who died July 7 after a sniper ambush. There were over 500 people in attendance. Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

The deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, who died at the hands of law officials in the same week in two separate events, has sparked a chain of protests throughout the United States. Even after the tragedy in Dallas, protests continue throughout the nation, like in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Sterling died by the hands of police and St. Paul, Minnesota, where Castile also died.

“I believe that the cornerstone of any community is it’s people,” Sone said during a memorial at the Dallas Police Headquarters. “The way Dallas citizens and the way the Dallas Police Department reacts to this, will pretty much dictate where we go from here.”

Two-hundred protesters have been arrested between the two cities over the past few days.

At home, hundreds of people have visited the memorial like Sonia Mijares, who prayed over the vehicles outside the headquarters.

“This is a time we need to be more united,” she said. “It’s just division.”

On July 11, the Dallas Police Association held a candlelight vigil for officers who died in the tragedy where hundreds of people poured out in front of City Hall. The officers who died in the ambush were Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith.

Law officials lined the street beside City Hall where they hugged and greeted each other, emoting an underlying message — unity of the nation’s citizens and police officers.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks at a vigil held for the five dead and 11 injured police office who were ambushed on Thursday evening. He spoke words of each officer and gave memories of each. Hundreds of citizens were in attendance for the event.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks at a vigil held for the five dead and 11 injured police office who were ambushed on Thursday evening. He spoke words of each officer and gave memories of each. Hundreds of citizens were in attendance for the event. Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the officers who died in the tragedy should be known as superheroes. The mission for Brown was to help the families conquer the loss of their loved ones.

“They’re like cops, they’re like police officers — superheroes,” Brown said. “Families, we love you. We love you with everything we have. We are now your surrogates. We will be loving you Always… Always… Always.”

DART Police Chief J.D Spiller, pushed for unity in his speech.

“If someone thought that what they did was going to tear up Dallas and the state of Texas, they were wrong,” he said through ensuing applause. “What it did has galvanized us.”

Spiller also spoke about the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We must have that discussion about race in America,” Spiller said. “We must lead the state of Texas on race relations in America.”

Ronald L. Pinkston, Dallas Police Association president, said the way to equality is to stand behind law enforcement. In a city and country that has been divided by the murders of innocent people.

“We will not let the cowardly hate-filled acts of one man divide our city and our country. I believe in our police department and I believe in our country and it’s citizens,” Pinkston said. “If we are to hope for a better life for our cities, and communities, our nation must unite behind law enforcement.”

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Dallas Vigil and Memorial

Featured Image: A memorial is set up outside of Dallas Police Headquarters to memorialize five police officers who died after a sniper ambushed them ending a peaceful protest on July 7 in Dallas. The protest was in regards to the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Eleven other officers were injured on Thursday evening. Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor

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