July 7, 2016. It is a day Dallas will never forget. Our coverage began that evening. Downtown is not generally part of our coverage area, but our managing editor Emily Charrier lives in its center and was among protesters gathered in peace for a Black Lives Matter demonstration. She was able to document the event as it unfolded, and she and her husband, Matt Botts, snapped photographs and shot video throughout the night (some of which aired on news stations across the country).
“Fourteen officers were shot, five fatally, after a peaceful protest turned violent on Thursday night in Downtown Dallas, according to Police Chief David Brown. Two civilians were also injured in what CNN called the largest loss of police lives since September 11. On Friday police announced the lone gunman was Micah Johnson, 25, a war veteran who made extensive plans to target white police officers, which were spelled out in journals and social media posts found in his possession. Johnson was killed after a 45-minute gun battle with police by a bomb deployed by a police robot.”
In the ensuing days our staff focused on the tragedy, how it was impacting people in the neighborhoods we cover and how local police officers and neighbors were coping.
Lake Highlands created a touching tribute and show of gratitude to officers of the Northeast substation.
“Boy Scout Troop 707, sponsored by our neighborhood Elks Lodge, put to use some 700 large American flags they have on hand as operators of the Lake Highlands American Flag Project (video below).”
And at the substation itself, people arrived throughout the day to pay respect to the fallen officers and to thank the working ones. It was something the officer overseeing the growing display said helped him cope more than we could imagine.
Our East Dallas Advocate reporter Will Maddox interviewed the family of Patrick Zamarripa, who had close ties to that neighborhood.
Columnist Angela Hunt forwent her planned piece about the proposed privatization of Fair Park in order to discuss the meaning of #DallasStrong.
The Dallas Morning News yesterday published a feature about the families of fallen officers one year later.
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) July 7, 2017