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Columnist: Terrorism targets police officers, black lives matter

Last night, a terrorist sniper fired into a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, which was protected by police. At least five officers were killed. The terrorist announced that he shot people because he was mad at white cops and Black Lives Matter. Let’s remember that when we respond as a nation.

Here is what the Dallas Police Chief told a press conference, according to USA Today:

“The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. He was upset at white people. He wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. The suspect stated that we will eventually find the IEDs (improvised explosive devices). The suspect stated he was not affiliated within groups and he stated that he did this alone.”

The Black Lives Matter protest called for in Dallas, in response to recent killings in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was peaceful. Politicians were there, and Dallas police officers weren’t there to break up the protest. Unlike the events in Ferguson, those police officers weren’t there to stop people from assembling peacefully.

Those police officers were there to shield the protesters. They died protecting the civil rights of the Black Lives Matter movement. They gave their lives for our liberty. They need to be buried with full honors. They need roads and schools named for them, and a big monument somewhere. That’s the supreme sacrifice. I don’t know anything more American than that.

Those officers who were wounded need medals, and similar recognition. Families of these officers, living and dead, need our prayers, not just our praise.

If the Black Lives Matter movement needed any proof that bad cops are the extreme exception, not the rule, they just got it on Thursday night. Nearly every police officer would take a bullet for BLM. Several just did.

And for members of the Black Lives Matter group, they deserve our respect. At least two of the protesters were shot by this terrorist, who sniped them along with the cops. Bullets flew at both. It’s no wonder that Black Lives Matter condemned the attack. They were targeted as well.

Let’s get this straight — someone who disliked the Black Lives Matter group fired into the protesters too. Members of every Black Lives Matter protest will wonder if they’ll be fired upon by a terrorist, just as every police officer will have to be on his or her guard for another terrorist attack. But I suspect there will be officers in force, protecting rallies of all sorts in the USA.

The reaction across the country has been one of shock. Presidential campaigns canceled events. President Obama condemned the shooting as well. But a disgruntled Illinois congressman — who had been voted out of office — tried to turn the event into a race war on Twitter.

“3 Dallas Cops killed. 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.” In a follow-up tweet, ex-congressman Joe Walsh added “10 Cops shot. You did this Obama. You did this liberals. You did this #BLM. Time to defend our Cops. Wake up.”

It is former congressman Walsh who needs to wake up, along with law enforcement critics. Our cops died defending the Constitution, and the rights of a group to protest, one which the two don’t always see eye to eye. That’s what America really is about.

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By John A. Tures

Contributing columnist

John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College. He may be reached at jtures@lagrange.edu.