Friday, July 8, 2016

11 Cops Shot, 4 Cops Dead At Protest For Recent Murders of Unarmed Black Men Killed by Police Officers

 Dallas police respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Dallas protestors rallied in the aftermath of the killing of Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge, La. and Philando Castile, who was killed by police less than 48 hours later in Minnesota. [Smiley N. Pool | Dallas Morning News via AP]

DALLAS — Two snipers apparently shot 11 police officers during protests in Dallas on Thursday night and four officers are dead, the city's police chief said in a statement.

A statement from Dallas Police Chief David Brown released by a city spokeswoman said "it appears that two snipers shot 10 police officers from elevated positions during the protest/rally."

The gunfire broke out around 8:45 p.m. CST Thursday while hundreds of people were gathered to protest fatal police shootings this week in Baton Rouge, La., and suburban St. Paul, Minn.

The statement said three officers are dead, two are in surgery and three are in critical condition.

"An intensive search" for suspects is currently under way, it said. No one is in custody.

Live TV video showed protesters marching along a street in downtown, about half a mile from City Hall, when the shots erupted and the crowd scattered, seeking cover.

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Protests erupted in Minnesota overnight after a man was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in front of his girlfriend and a child.

The aftermath of Philando Castile's shooting in Falcon Heights was apparently captured in graphic detail on Facebook video.

Angry crowds gathered outside the governor's mansion as news spread about the death. Castile, 32, was a kitchen supervisor for the St. Paul school district.

His was the second officer-involved shooting to spark protests in just two days, following the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The St. Anthony Police Department confirmed a man was fatally shot during a traffic stop Wednesday night, saying that a handgun was recovered from the scene and that the officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave.

A woman and her young child were in the car at the time but were unharmed, the department told NBC affiliate KARE11. Police did not identify the victim but his family named him as Philando Castile.

In a Facebook video that appears to show the aftermath of the shooting, a man is seen in a blood-soaked white t-shirt slumped in the driver's seat of a car. The form of what appears to be an officer is at the window, pointing a gun inside.

"Oh my god, please don't tell me that he's gone. Please, officer, don't tell me that you just did this to him," the panicked woman, who identified herself as Castile's girlfriend, can be heard saying.

"He's licensed to carry. He was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out of his pocket and he let the officer know that he was — he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet," the woman tells the camera.

Speaking to the bleeding man, the woman says: "Stay with me! We got pulled over for a busted tail-light in the back, and the police just … he's covered. They killed my boyfriend."

The officer is heard saying "I told him not to reach for it!" to which the woman replies: "You told him to get his ID, sir, his driver's license."

"Oh my God, please don't tell me he's dead," the woman says as the wounded man slumps motionless in the seat.

"My daughter just witnessed this," the woman says.

The child is later seen in the video and tries to comfort her crying mother.

"It's OK mommy," the girl says. " It's OK. I'm right here with you."

The contents of the video have not been independently confirmed by NBC News.

Interim St. Anthony police chief Sgt. Jon Mangseth said he did not have details on what prompted the traffic stop, telling a press conference that he was aware of the livestream but hadn't seen the video. The officer involved has been with the police department for around five years, he added.

His police department serves Falcon Heights. a city of around 5,300 people between Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Castile had a concealed weapons permit to carry a firearm, his uncle Clarence Castile told NBC News.

"My nephew, he wasn't trying to pull a weapon on those police," Clarence Castile said. "He was reaching for ID."

He said his nephew was one more victim in a string of "young black men being murdered" by police.

"My nephew was executed," Clarence Castile said. "They are going to try and make my nephew out to be a bad guy and get away with murdering another young black man."

"My nephew was nowhere near being a bum, he was a good young man," he added. "He was a good kid who loved life."

Protesters gathered overnight near the scene of the shooting chanting "No Justice, No Peace" and "Prosecute the Police."

A noisy crowd also formed outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul, where police confirmed to KARE11 that Gov. Mark Dayton was in residence. Car horns honked constantly and protesters covered the railings in police tape.

Among the crowd was Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy-Pounds, who called on Gov. Dayton to "wake up and make a statement."

"Philando Castile was an upstanding citizen according to all the reports we've heard," she told reporters. "We just have a number of questions about how something like this could happen once again."

Castile's shooting sparked a massive outcry on social media, with many expressing dismay that two such incidents could happen in such a short time.


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BATON ROUGE, La. — The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation on Wednesday into the fatal shooting of a black man by the Baton Rouge, La., police after a searing video of the encounter, aired repeatedly on television and social media, reignited contentious issues surrounding police killings of African-Americans.

Officials from Gov. John Bel Edwards to the local police and elected officials vowed a complete and transparent investigation and appealed to the city — after a numbing series of high-profile, racially charged incidents elsewhere — to remain calm.

“I have full confidence that this matter will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and professionally,” Mr. Edwards said in announcing the federal takeover of the case. “I have very serious concerns. The video is disturbing, to say the least.”

Urging patience while the investigation takes place, the governor said: “I know that that may be tough for some, but it’s essential that we do that. I know that there are protests going on, but it’s urgent that they remain peaceful.”

Two white officers were arresting Alton B. Sterling, 37, early Tuesday after responding to a call about an armed man. The officers had Mr. Sterling pinned to the ground when at least one of them shot him.

The video of the shooting propelled the case to national attention, like a string of recorded police shootings before it. The shooting has prompted protests here in the Louisiana capital, including a vigil with prayers and gospel music that drew hundreds of people Wednesday night to the storefront where it happened.