(JNS.org) The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas expressed its shock at the murder of five police officers and the wounding of seven others by snipers at a protest against police brutality in downtown Dallas on Thursday. It was the deadliest attack on law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
“We are shocked and horrified by the attack on our Dallas Police this evening, and our thoughts and prayers are with those recovering and the families of those mourning the senseless deaths of their loved ones. Our local law enforcement was on hand to ensure the safety of those involved in peaceful demonstrations in downtown Dallas,” the federation said in a statement on Facebook.
Snipers began shooting at law enforcement during the public protest against the killings of two black men—Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota—by police officers. Those incidents became the latest in a string of episodes of police brutality against black men, Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the vehicle with him and her daughter when he was shot, posted a video of the aftermath of his shooting by an officer who pulled them over. The video has since gone viral, along with the video of Sterling’s shooting, and both incidents have sparked renewed protests and activism by the "Black Lives Matter" movement around the country.
On Thursday, one of the Dallas snipers, who is in custody with two others, said his motive was anger at police and at white people for violence and racism against African-Americans. A fourth sniper was reportedly killed by authorities.
“Cowards used this opportunity to fire upon those very officers charged with maintaining order and protecting the protesters. The cycle of violence sweeping our country is both senseless and reprehensible; may calmer heads prevail across our country,” the Dallas Jewish federation also said.