Police agencies on edge, on guard amid heightened threats
ATLANTA (AP) — Police agencies across the U.S. are on edge and on guard after receiving threats and calls for violence against them on social media in the aftermath of the killings of two black men and the sniper attack that left five officers dead in Dallas. Some departments ordered officers to pair up or more generally said they were heightening security.
Authorities have said the Dallas gunman, who also wounded seven other officers and two civilians, wanted to kill whites in the aftermath of the slayings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana. And a man who killed one person and wounded three others — including an officer — in Tennessee apparently told investigators he was motivated by the recent killings of black men by police.
Since then, threats ranging from generic promises of violence to specific video postings have been made, only heightening fears of further attacks. In Dallas, authorities received an anonymous threat Saturday, prompting police to tighten up security. Officers swarmed the department’s headquarters, searching for a reported suspicious person in a garage before finally issuing an all-clear.
While some threats have been unspecific and not credible, other promises of violence have been more targeted. In Louisiana, a man was accused of posting a video online showing him in his vehicle behind a police car, saying he wanted to shoot and kill an officer. Police say Kemonte Gilmore flashes a handgun in the video and talks about the slayings of Castile and Sterling.
Police also say a Wisconsin man posted calls on social media for black men to gun down white officers, and a woman in Illinois is accused of threatening in an online video to shoot and kill any officer who pulled her over.
Dallas suspect taunted police during 2 hours of negotiation
DALLAS (AP) — The suspect in the deadly attack on Dallas police taunted authorities during two hours of negotiations, laughing at them, singing and at one point asking how many officers he had shot, the police chief said Sunday.
The chief and the county’s most senior elected official also said Micah Johnson had larger attack plans and possessed enough explosive material to inflict far greater harm.
“We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to target law enforcement — make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement’s efforts to punish people of color,” Brown told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Johnson, a black Army veteran, insisted on speaking with a black negotiator and wrote in blood on the wall of a parking garage where police cornered and later killed him, Brown said.
The gunman wrote the letters “RB” and other markings, but the meaning was unclear. Investigators are trying to decipher the writing by looking through evidence from Johnson’s suburban Dallas home, Brown said.
10 Things to Know for Monday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
1. WHY POLICE MIGHT SHIFT TACTICS, AGAIN
After authorities were criticized for their actions in Ferguson, Missouri, many police departments took a more restrained approach. Now the pendulum could swing back.
2. ARE ATTACKS ON POLICE INSPIRED BY MILITANTS?
Black separatist groups nearly doubled in 2015, mirroring a similar increase among white hate groups. But many people who become radicalized do so without direct ties to any groups.
Obama urges greater respect, understanding after shootings
MADRID (AP) — President Barack Obama on Sunday urged respect and restraint from Americans angered by the killing of black men by police, saying anything less does a “disservice to the cause” of ridding the criminal justice system of racial bias.
He also urged law enforcement to treat seriously complaints that they are heavy-handed and intolerant, particularly toward minorities.
“I’d like all sides to listen to each other,” Obama said in response to a reporter’s question after he met with Spain’s acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, during an abbreviated first visit to Spain as president.
Obama’s appeal for greater understanding from opposing sides of the emotionally charged debate over police practices followed the weekend arrests of scores of people in Louisiana and Minnesota who protested the shooting deaths by police of black men in both states last week.
Those deaths were followed by a stunning sniper attack last Thursday in Dallas that killed five police officers and wounded seven others as they watched over a peaceful protest of the week’s earlier shootings.
Dallas sniper victims included fathers, volunteers, veterans
They were spouses and parents. They volunteered in schools and at church. And they had sworn to serve and protect.
The five officers killed in Thursday’s sniper attack in Dallas are being remembered for their character and service to others.
The attack also injured seven officers and two civilians. Here’s a closer look at the victims:
A COPS’ COP
Protests continue in Baton Rouge, police block I-10 ramps
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Officers stared down hundreds of shouting protesters near a ramp onto Interstate 110 in Louisiana’s capital Sunday night before another squad in riot gear arrived to make arrests.
Earlier Sunday, some 2,000 people rallied outside the Capitol building to protest police killings of black people, State Police Maj. Doug Cain said.
“They didn’t have any problems out there. They seemed to be very organized and peaceful,” Cain said.
But as night began to fall, a few hundred people aimed for an on-ramp, trying a tactic protesters were using this weekend in multiple cities.
And after a lengthy standoff, more police in full riot gear moved in, pinning some of the protesters as others fled. Some 30 to 40 people were jailed for trying to block a highway, sheriff’s spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said.
Attacks on police: Inspired or directed by militant groups?
DALLAS (AP) — Police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota were followed by calls from black militant groups and others to seek vengeance against officers. Almost immediately, several officers were attacked, including the five slain by a sniper in Dallas.
Now authorities are investigating whether the Dallas gunman was directed by those groups or merely emboldened by them.
“I think it’s safe to say we’ll leave no stone unturned,” Dallas Deputy Police Chief Scott Walton said.
Police have been tight-lipped about exactly what they’re investigating and what they’ve uncovered so far. Although Micah Johnson was connected to several militant groups on social media, it’s unclear if he was merely a follower or a more active participant.
Similar questions have been raised by international terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State group: How is the network encouraging and directing attacks? Is it a coordinated effort or are the attacks simply a byproduct of hate speech espoused by the groups on social media?
The Latest: President to meet with Dallas families
DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of police officers in Dallas (all times local):
The White House is releasing more details about Barack Obama’s planned visit to Dallas on Tuesday, saying the president will meet privately with relatives of police officers killed in Thursday’s attack.
George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, will also attend, and the ex-president will deliver brief remarks. Vice President Joe Biden will also be there.
Obama plans to “personally express the nation’s support and gratitude” for the service and sacrifice of the slain officers. He also will deliver remarks at an interfaith memorial service.
NAFTA a sore spot for some Democrats on Clinton in Michigan
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is trickier than it may appear for Hillary Clinton, a Democrat whose party’s presidential nominees have carried the struggling manufacturing hub for decades.
Bernie Sanders beat her in the state’s Democratic primary by railing against the North American Free Trade Agreement. Republican Donald Trump is more popular with Michigan’s working-class white voters than past GOP candidates, and has pledged to back out of the treaty some blame for the loss of countless Rust Belt jobs.
While Clinton’s history of supporting free trade may not cost her the state, it is costing campaign staff and money to defend its 16 electoral votes.
“It’s an issue that Sanders used to his advantage in the primary and obviously was successful,” said Michigan Democratic organizer Amy Chapman, who was Barack Obama’s state director in 2008 and a senior adviser in 2012. “Obviously, it’s something they need to figure out as they figure out what it takes to win Michigan.”
Trump last week blasted the pact signed by President Bill Clinton and predicted that backing out would restore millions of vanished factory jobs.
Portugal stuns France to lift 1st cup despite Ronaldo injury
SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — Portugal’s players crowded around Cristiano Ronaldo as he sat on the turf, but their tearful captain couldn’t withstand the pain of his injury any longer.
The Portuguese had to win their first major trophy the hard way on Sunday, stunning France 1-0 after extra time in the European Championship final – having played without Ronaldo from the 25th minute.
Two hours after being carried off on a stretcher, the three-time world player of the year returned a champion for the first time with his country.
“I had bad luck because I had a small injury in the beginning of the game, but my colleagues did their part — they run, they fight,” said Ronaldo, who has already won every major club honor. “Nobody believed in Portugal but we won”.
An unlikely scorer secured the pre-tournament outsiders a title at last.