Dallas Police Try to Keep Things Calm; Beltway Police Lobbyist Attacks Obama, Black Lives Matter

Five Police Officers Killed During Anti-Police Brutality March In Dallas
Photo: Stewart F. House/Getty Images

The immediate aftermath of the massacre of police officers in Dallas Thursday night represented one of those moments when some people show restraint and perspective, while others begin grinding axes. You’d forgive the Dallas Police Department, which lost four officers (a fifth fatal victim worked for the transit police) and had several others injured, for overreacting in its collective grief. But it hasn’t.

Before the massacre began, the Dallas police and the peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrators were exhibiting what a local journalist described as mutual respect. The minute the first shots rang out, the reaction of Dallas officers was to protect demonstrators who were in the line of fire. And even when he was expressing the “heartbroken” feelings of his officers, Police Chief David Brown found time to say, “All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

Compare that to the reaction of William Johnson, the Alexandria, Virginia–based executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, which claims to represent more than 200,000 officers around the country:

I think [the Obama administration’s] continued appeasements at the federal level with the Department of Justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, their refusal to condemn movements like Black Lives Matter, actively calling for the death of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for the problems in this country has led directly to the climate that has made Dallas possible,” William Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, said in an interview with Fox on Friday morning

“It’s a war on cops,” Johnson also said. “And the Obama administration is the Neville Chamberlain of this war.”

Johnson went on to claim that Obama had never condemned anti-police violence. Here’s what Obama actually said this morning in Warsaw, Poland. He described the Dallas shootings as a “vicious, calculated, despicable attack”; a “tremendous tragedy”; and “senseless murders.” He also said that “We will learn more about” the “twisted motivations” of the suspects, added that “there is no possible justification” for the attacks, and promised that “justice will be done.”

The police departments William Johnson is paid to represent are not responsible for his irresponsible and incendiary comments, which incredibly blame Barack Obama and apparently anyone upset by racial injustice for these murders. If the Dallas PD can modulate its reactions as it grieves for its fallen heroes, you’d think a lobbyist 1,300 miles away could do so as well.

Dallas Police, NAPO Not on Same Page on Dallas