Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown took the podium Friday morning at a press conference after 12 police officers were shot last night, five of whom brutally lost their lives.
They spoke of the ongoing investigation into the shooting spree and the brave officers who died. They touched on the motive for the attack — everything that America has come to recognize in these post-tragedy press conferences.
“Join us at noon in that spirit of prayer to bring our city together and our country together. To heal wounds, not create them.”
But at the end of his statement, Mayor Rawlings asked for one of the few things that can truly help comfort Dallas in the wake of this tragedy: prayer.
“Chief Brown told the victims’ families last night and the police officers that he was a man of faith and I am a man of faith, too,” Rawlings said. “And we need prayers and prayer is good.”
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“So today at 12:00 at Thanksgiving Square, a leadership group of interfaith ministers will be leading us in that prayer. I would ask that if you’re at your home or at your office or at your school, to join us at noon in that spirit of prayer,” he continued. “To bring our city together and our country together. To heal wounds, not create them.”
The nation joined together in prayer for the fallen officers in Dallas who died defending their city and the innocent protesters there.
At the vigil in Dallas, Police Chief Brown said a few words:
“Dallas is a city that loves. We are hurting. We need this community. We need citizens to show officers that they appreciate their sacrifice,” Brown said at the vigil. “We won’t rest until we bring everyone involved to justice.”
“Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these, who carried out this tragic, tragic event. Pray for these families,” said Brown.
One man who was at the protest attested to the valor shown by the Dallas police — they pushed him out of the line of fire: “We started hearing rapid fire. One police officer standing there pushed me out of the way because it was coming in our direction … You can see my legs are scarred up because he pushed us out of the way,” the protester explained.
Dr. Eric Quarrels, a criminal justice expert in Washington, D.C., and a former police officer in Atlanta, Georgia, told LifeZette, “Police officers do an exceptional job. If you look at the amount of police officers, the number of departments — big, small, whatever size — police officers do exceptional work. It is one of the hardest jobs in this country.”
Brent Thompson was one of the five slain officers. He had served 27 years on the Dallas police force and was a newlywed.
“He was recently married in the last two weeks, so this is very heartbreaking,” James Spiller, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority chief, told “The Today Show.”
Thompson and four others were brutally murdered on the streets of Dallas last night, and this morning their families woke up heartbroken. America is heartbroken — and the police community is heartbroken.
But officers around the country wake up every morning and go to work — to protect, serve, and sometimes die in the line of duty.
This story has been updated with the latest information.