The massacre in Dallas, in which five policemen died, was perpetrated by one killer, Micah Johnson. With an assault rifle (model Ar-15), the same as the one used at Pulse in Orlando. He opened fire against police officers at the end of a protests that would have been peaceful otherwise, for the two African Americans, Alton Sterling, Louisiana and Philando Castile, who had been killed a few day before in Minnesota. According to the reconstruction of the investigators, his action was “crazy”, dictated mainly by racial hatred against whites, especially against police. An action that, to date, shows a nation – the United States of America – that is divided on the racial question, feeding the fear that a new “red summer” might happen.
President Obama, after following the events from Europe, where he is attending the NATO summit, has decided to return to the US one day earlier: he will reach Washington on 10 July evening, and early next week he will go to Dallas, a wounded city that mourns its victims. Some witnesses have called it “the stage of a small war, which has become the blackest day for the American police since 11 September 2001”. Johnson was killed by a killer robot of the police, after a confrontation that lasted several hours, near Dealey Palza, the same one where John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
According to initial reconstructions, several snipers, at least two people, opened fire against the police. It took hours and many halts before making sure that there had been only one killer. “The city is safe,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. The hypothesis that there had been several snipers was linked to the fact that there were “20 armed demonstrators who, having heard the first shots, began to run”, misleading the police, says Rawlings. While demonstrations against the violence of the police against minorities are held throughout the United States, racial tensions burst during the election campaign.
They represent a test for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “There is too much violence and too much hate. We need to admit that there are still implicit prejudices in our society and even in the best police departments” Clinton said, inviting people not to denigrate the police. “Racial divisions have worsened, not improved. We will make America a secure place again” Trump said.
The killer had a clean record and was a veteran of the Afghan war. Micah Johnson orchestrated the attack on the police because of hatred against whites. More details about his life appear as hours pass. During his time in Afghanistan as a carpenter in 420mA Brigade of Engineers, he was charged – according to Bradford Glendening, the lawyer assigned to him – of sexual harassment. The soldier had pointed out that the man needed “psychological help”, making request for a restraining order against him. The army had started the paperwork to send him away. “His superiors did not like him, the way his commander talked about him made it obvious” Glendening recalls. Upon his return to the United States, Johnson went to live with his mother again, in Mesquite, near Dallas: a peaceful area, where neighbors remember him as a quiet person, not dangerous.
Yet, he had an arsenal at home: the police found materials for building bombs, guns, ammunition and bulletproof vests. On his Facebook page, made disappear shortly after his recognition, he had liked two groups: the Black Panther and African American Defense League. There was also a picture of him with Richard Griffin, a member of the rap group Public Enemy. Griffin ended up in the news in 1980 for his anti-Semitic comments. He was a “funny guy, not a violent person”, his friend and neighbor Israel Cooper describes him. “Educated” and “non-political”, but also “very conscious of being a person of color”, according to another mate. “He laughed and sang during the siege of the police,” a police source told NBC. He did not seem nervous, and confessed that he had trained at the gym before the attack. The aim of the latter, according to his statement, was “to kill whites because he hated them.”