Gregory A. Thomas
July 8, 2016
ALEXANDRIA, VA- The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) National President Gregory Thomas released the following statement on the events in Dallas, TX, July 7, 2016:
"Thursday night, as hundreds of law abiding citizens gathered together in Dallas, Texas to exercise their constitutional right to peacefully protest the recent shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, a gunman attacked 12 members of the Dallas and Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Departments, with 5 mortally wounded. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and colleagues of our fallen brothers in law enforcement. I know Dallas Police Chief Brown both as a committed NOBLE member, and as a friend and colleague and know this is a difficult period for him, Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department Chief J. D. Spiller, their police officers and staff.
The actions taken during this event by the suspected and now deceased assailant, were cowardly and represent an ambush on the police and on what we hold dear to our democratic society; the right of peaceful protest. Retaliatory measures against law enforcement simply cannot and will not be accepted as a response to police-citizen conflicts. There is no justification for these attacks.
As this is a matter still under investigation by the authorities, all of the facts are not available. However, authorities have stated that the suspect, Micah Xavier Johnson, said he wanted to 'kill white people, specifically white cops.' Thankfully, this supposed irresponsible message from the assailant and his associated actions are not reflective of the vast majority of citizens who are engaged with and supportive of the law enforcement community, and thankfully, nor are the isolated incidents of recent events involving police involved shootings, reflective of the professional work that members of the law enforcement community conduct dutifully every day.
During these moments, we need to push forward and ensure that there are less incidents such as those that occurred in Dallas, Texas, in Falcon Heights, MN and in Baton Rouge, LA. We have to "step up" collectively, (law enforcement and the community) to bridge this ever expanding gulf. I've reached out to our NOBLE members across the country and will be reaching out to the Dallas Police Department and the DART Chief of Police and to local community leaders to extend our support." [End]