More protesters arrested, police say Dallas sniper plotted bigger assault
DALLAS – ReutersThe U.S. military veteran who fatally shot five Dallas police officers last week was plotting a larger assault, authorities said, disclosing how he had taunted negotiators and written on a wall in his own blood before being killed.
Protests against U.S. police tactics continued for a third straight day on July 10, with scores arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after authorities warned that violence during street demonstrations over the fatal police shootings of two black men last week would not be tolerated.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown told CNN on July 10 that Micah X. Johnson had improvised as he used “shoot-and-move” tactics to gun down officers during a demonstration on July 7, the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.
Brown said a search of Johnson’s home showed the gunman had practiced using explosives, and that other evidence suggested he wanted to use them against law enforcement officers.
“We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans,” he said. The fatal police shootings of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana last week led the 25-year-old Texas shooter to “fast-track” his attack, Brown said.
Johnson, a black veteran who served in Afghanistan, took advantage of a spontaneous march that began toward the end of the protest over those killings. Moving ahead of the rally in a black Tahoe SUV, he stopped when he saw a chance to use “high ground” to target police, Brown said.
Johnson was killed by a bomb-equipped robot but Brown said before then he sang, laughed at and taunted officers, and said he wanted to “kill white people” in retribution for police killings of black people. “He seemed very much in control and very determined to hurt other officers,” the police chief said.
Brown defended the decision to use a robot to kill him, saying that “about a pound of C4” explosive was attached to it.
He said Johnson had scrawled the letters “RB” in his own blood on a wall before dying. “We’re trying to figure out through looking at things in his home what those initials mean,” Brown said.
Even as officials and activists condemned the shootings and mourned the slain officers, hundreds of people were arrested on July 9-10 as new protests against the use of deadly force by police flared in U.S. cities.
Protesters faced off with police officers wearing gas masks on the evening of July 10 in Baton Rouge. Media, citing Baton Rouge police, reported that at least 48 people were taken into custody after demonstrators clashed with police following a peaceful march to the state capitol.