and they were all getting shot down. It was right after the rally, we were walking to the car,” said Cortney Washington, a Dallas resident. At least two civilians were shot during the attack. Family members identified Shetamia Taylor, who was shot while attempting to shield her children from gunfire. Taylor underwent surgery early Friday after being shot in the right calf. City of Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed confirmed a male victim was also shot, but did not release his identity or condition.
President Obama released a statement on the shootings, speaking from Warsaw, Poland, where he was meeting with leaders of the European Union and attending a NATO summit. “There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement,” he said. “Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done… Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they [law enforcement] make for us. We also know when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately, it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic.”
The violent events come after two highly publicized incidents in which black men were killed by police officers, both of which were also captured live on video.
On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was shot and killed during an altercation with two police officers. The officers responded to a call about a man threatening people with a gun outside a convenience store. Video footage from eyewitnesses shows police ordering Sterling to get on the ground before tackling him and pinning him down. Sterling was shot several times and killed.
The following day, Philando Castile was shot and killed by an officer during a traffic stop outside Minneapolis, Minnesota while his fiance and 4-year old daughter sat in the car. The shooting made headlines after Castille’s fiance, Diamond Reynolds, livestreamed the bloody aftermath on Facebook. According to Reynolds, Castille told the officer he had a firearm he was licensed to carry. The officer shot him as he reached into his pocket for his wallet and identification.
The issues are certain to shift the conversation during an already heated presidential election which has highlighted gun violence and inequity within the criminal justice reform as crucial issues.