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Dallas Killings: 3 Suspects in Custody and 4th in Standoff for shooting 11 Police Officers

Officials say the attackers had intended widespread damage and a suspicious package has been secured by the city's bomb squad

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Emergency responders administer CPR to an unknown patient on a stretcher as law enforcement officials stand nearby at the emergency receiving area of Baylor University Medical Center, early Friday, July 8, 2016. Image source: AP
  • The attackers had intended widespread damage and a suspicious package has been secured by the city’s bomb squad
  • NAACP President and CEO William Brooks told VOA the rights organization is pushing for the passage of several pieces of legislation 
  • There have been 509 fatal police shootings in the United States in 2016 compared to 990 in 2015

The Dallas police chief said early Friday morning, July 8, three suspects are in custody and police are negotiating with a fourth who is in a standoff with police at a downtown garage in the area where a demonstration held Thursday to protest the slayings of two black men by police erupted into chaos with 11 police officers shot.  Four of the officers have died.

Police Chief David Brown said the suspect at the garage said “the end is coming” and that there are bombs “all over the place” in the garage and in downtown.

Brown said one of the detained suspects is a female.  The other two suspects being interviewed, Brown said, were seen with camouflage bags, prompting officers to follow their car.

Officials say the attackers had intended widespread damage and a suspicious package has been secured by the city’s bomb squad.

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Dallas police detain a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Image source: AP
Dallas police detain a driver after several police officers were shot in downtown Dallas, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Image source: AP

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has asked people who work in the downtown area where the shootings occurred to stay away Friday.

Police had issued a photograph of an armed black man in camouflage dress who attended the demonstration as “a person of interest” in Thursday’s shooting.  The man later turned himself into authorities, who say he was apparently not involved in the shootings.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Image Source: www.texasobserver.org
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Image Source: www.texasobserver.org

Police say two snipers opened fire on police during the demonstration that was being held to protest the police killings of two black men earlier this week in separate incidents – one in Minnesota, the other in Louisiana.  The two killings of the black men are the latest incidents in a string of shootings in the U.S. of what is widely viewed as examples of the excessive use of force in police dealings with minorities.

The deadly violence came just hours after President Barack Obama urged American law enforcement to eliminate racial bias from its ranks, saying “all of us as Americans should be troubled” by the videotaped police shootings of black men this week in Minnesota and Louisiana.

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“We’ve seen tragedies like this too many times,” Obama said upon arriving in Warsaw Friday morning for a two-day meeting of NATO leaders. He said he felt compelled to address the shootings in a televised statement — in addition to a Facebook post published hours earlier — given the “extraordinary interest” in the incidents.

The president said all Americans should be concerned about the problem of frequent police shootings of black people, which he called “symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist” in the U.S. justice system. He said those disparities are backed up by statistics that show African Americans and Hispanics are treated differently by police.

US President Barack Obama talks upon Dalla Shootings. Image Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
US President Barack Obama talks upon Dalla Shootings. Image Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Earlier this week, an African American man was fatally shot by a police officer during a routine traffic stop in the midwestern city of Falcon Heights, Minnesota, prompting Governor Mark Dayton to call for an independent federal investigation.

Police say 32-year-old Philando Castile of nearby St. Paul was killed after a policeman pulled over his vehicle. They said the incident began when an officer initiated a traffic stop, but they have not further explained what led to the shooting. They said the officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in cases like this.

Governor Dayton said he does not believe Castile would have been treated that way if he had been white.

The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called in to investigate.

A child and a woman were passengers in the car when Castile was killed. Shortly after the shots were fired, the woman began broadcasting video on her cell phone, streaming it live on her private Facebook account.

Castile was shown slumped in the car and bleeding profusely with at least one officer pointing a gun through the driver’s side window.

The shooting came one day after police killed 37-year-old Alton Sterling in the southern city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Two white officers, responding to a call about an armed man, had Sterling pinned to the ground when at least one officer shot him. The investigation into the shooting is being led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

NAACP President and CEO William Brooks told VOA the rights organization is pushing for the passage of several pieces of legislation, including comprehensive racial profiling laws at the state and federal levels.

“The laws that govern when police can use lethal force need to be reformed and they need to be reformed now,” said Amnesty International’s Jamira Burley. “Philando Castile should not have had to fear for his life during a traffic stop.”

Samuel Walker, a professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska and an expert on police accountability, told VOA, “There’s deep-seated racial prejudice” among some white Americans “and that plays out in police encounters.” Walker said some police officers have “an unconscious bias” that causes them to “react accordingly.”

Dallas shootings protest, Image Source: abc7.com
Dallas shootings protest, Image Source: abc7.com

With the proliferation of video recording devices, Walker said the United States is in the midst of “a digital revolution of policing” that is having a “tremendous effect” on the practice nationwide.

Although fatal police shootings go unabated, videos have had a “huge impact on public understanding of policing,” he said.

There have been 509 fatal police shootings in the United States in 2016 compared to 990 last year, according to a national database maintained byThe Washington Post. (VOA)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    This is an example of racial violence. One needs to understand that all lives matter.

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Donald Trump Planning to meet Putin during his Asia tour

Donald Trump's first trip to Asia is the longest international tour.

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US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. wikimedia commns
  • US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he expected to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his Asia tour.

“I think it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin, yeah. We want Putin’s help on North Korea, and we’ll be meeting with a lot of different leaders,” Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One before landing at the Yokota Air Base in Japan, Efe reported.

Putin is scheduled to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, which Trump will also attend as part of his long Asia tour.

The North Korean nuclear threat is expected to dominate Donald Trump’s meetings in Japan and the next two stages of his tour, South Korea and China, where he will have a highly anticipated sit-down with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The remainder of the tour will be more focused on economic issues, with Trump scheduled to take part in the APEC meeting in Da Nang and then in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

Donald Trump’s first trip to Asia is the longest international tour by a US head of state since the one then-President George H.W. Bush embarked on in 1992.

Bush became ill at the end of that trip, famously vomiting on the Japanese prime minister’s lap at a formal dinner before fainting.(IANS)

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Las Vegas Massacre Begs the Question: Who Regulates Gun Selling?

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Lass Vegas massacre
Las Vegas Metro Police and medical workers stage in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 1, 2017. VOA
  • By Salil Gewali

Oct 08, 2017: Money can do any harmful thing. Yes, now it seems that one can buy lethal weapons as easily as he buys his bread and butter from a store and the recent las vegas massacre proves this. How many have such violent cases happened in a couple of years? They are countless. They all have instantly extinguished the lives of endless innocent people. Sometimes Mississippi, Newtown, Texas, Las Vegas, and sometimes France, Kuwait, Manchester, Landon Bridge, Lahore…! In each case, if we go deeper, the big boss America is directly or indirectly responsible.

Well, as to the rise of gun culture in the USA, I totally blame its Government. The very recent Las Vegas massacre shocked the entire the world. How can the US Government allow Tom, Dick, and Harry to purchase the weapons? The police have found a stockpile of arsenal from the possession of perpetrator Stephen Paddock who killed 59 people, leaving 527 wounded. How did he procure this all deadly stuff? And what had stopped the government from totally banning gun selling in any manners in the wake of the cruel instances of shootings at various spots? Small kids are shooting themselves, schoolboys shooting their classmates for fun, sons gunning down fathers and mothers in a rage, wives shooting their hubbies over petty issues.

Las Vegas Massacre
Assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield. VOA

Also Read: Las Vegas Mass Shooting Reignites Gun Debate in US Congress 

This is how the most advanced country in the world is now virtually reeling from a stream of horrific tragedies. Are not the leaders and business houses insanely stupid who all have been resisting the gun control legislation? They have not realized yet the “evil” also roars from gun barrels. Bluntly speaking, can these leaders give sharp daggers to their own kids? It is exactly like that. People may have grown up but their minds are cluttered with gory thoughts and sadism. And, the results are nowhere to make the world shudder with fear and anguish.

One wonders, how much more such dangerous tragedies should strike the mankind before the leaders come to sense and then act sensibly. No one should gamble with the life of the innocent. Explosive America cannot hit the jackpot for the humanity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali

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Haryana Police Summons 45 Dera Sacha Sauda Committee Members Accused of Plotting Violence Following Conviction of Dera Chief

Dera Sacha Sauda followers had indulged in large-scale violence in Panchkula and Sirsa after the CBI court on August 25 convicted the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape

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DERA SACHA SAUDA
Dera Sacha Sauda followers had indulged in large-scale violence in Panchkula and Sirsa after the CBI court on August 25 convicted the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape. IANS

Chandigarh, October 6, 2017 : Haryana police have issued summons to 45 members of a committee of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect to appear before it regarding the violence that erupted following the rape conviction of the Dera chief on August 25, police sources said on Friday.

Police sources said a hard disk, which reportedly contains details of transactions worth Rs 700 crore, including property and hawala deals, of the Dera has been recovered and sent for detailed examination.

The 45-member committee, which included the Dera’s headquarters campus (near Sirsa) chairman Vipassana and vice chairman P.R. Nain, is being accused of planning the violence in Panchkula and other places that left at least 38 people dead and 264 injured.

Dera Sacha Sauda followers had indulged in large-scale violence in Panchkula and Sirsa after the CBI court on August 25 convicted the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape.

The Haryana Police had last month issued a list of 43 ‘Most Wanted’ people of the sect, including top functionaries Honeypreet Insan and Aditya Insan, who are the closest aides of Ram Rahim, for their role in the violence.

Honeypreet was arrested from neighbouring Punjab on Tuesday after being fugitive for 38 days. She was booked for sedition and inciting violence.

The disgraced sect chief, who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, is now lodged in the District Jail in Sunaria near Rohtak. (IANS)