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Five officers killed in Dallas during protest against police shooting of black men

During a protest in Dallas against the shooting of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police, five officers were killed by sniper fire.

Dallas protest shooting

Sniper fire hit police officers presiding a protest march in the US city of Dallas on the evening of Thursday the 7th of July. Five have died and six were injured. Three suspects have been arrested whilst a fourth man has been reported dead after a standoff with police.

dallas protest
People rally in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday the 7th of July to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile © Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images

The killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

People had taken to the streets of Dallas in response to the killing of Alton Sterling, 37-year-old father of five, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on the 5th July, and 32-year-old Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota just two days later. Both were black men, both killed by police.

 

Alton Sterling was stopped by law enforcement officers in response to a call that he was selling CDs outside of a convenience store, and was armed. He was pinned to the ground and shot at point-blank range. Witnesses believe that, whilst Sterling was indeed carrying a gun, he wasn’t holding or reaching for it. On the other hand, whilst it is known that Philando Castile was armed, his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds — who was in the car with him when he was shot and filmed the incident, live streaming on Facebook — claims he was reaching for his wallet to display his gun permit when he was shot. Both incidents were captured on video, sparking a wave of outrage against the continued, relentless, unjustified killing of black men by the police.

Obama responds

In response, US President Barack Obama said:

When incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our citizenry that feels as if, because of the colour of their skin, they are not being treated the same, and that hurts, and that should trouble all of us. This is not just a black issue, not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we all should care about.

All lives matter

Gun violence in the United States continues to be an unmovable facet of the daily life of the nation. From the largest mass shooting in the country’s modern history that took place in Orlando, Florida on the 12th of June, to the killing 346 black people at the hands of police last year according to Mapping Police Violence, the epidemic has grown out of proportion. Because black lives matter, police lives matter, institutional racism matters, gun culture matters. What remains to be seen is when it will matter that enough is enough.

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