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The State of Texas: Horror in Dallas

Plus: President Obama and Texas leaders respond to the shooting in Dallas, Ted Cruz will speak at the Republican National Convention, and Baylor football is reeling.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY


“This was peaceful. This was peaceful. We were headed back to our cars to go home. But we turned that corner [at Main Street] and all hell broke loose.”

—Stacy Brown to the Dallas Morning News. Brown was attending a rally in downtown Dallas last night protesting the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile when snipers opened fire, seemingly targeting officers.


BIG NEWS


Dallas police work near the scene where eleven Dallas police officers were shot and five have now died on July 8, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police - Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Ron Jenkins/Getty
Dallas police work near the scene where eleven Dallas police officers were shot and five have now died on July 8, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, shots were fired during a protest being held in downtown Dallas in response to recent fatal shootings of two black men by police – Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Ron Jenkins/Getty

Violent Night
Four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer died after at least two snipers opened fire during a protest against police brutality last night in Dallas at around 9 p.m., according to the Dallas Morning News. It was the deadliest day for American law enforcement since September 11, 2001. Nine more people were wounded, including seven officers and two civilians. One of the suspected shooters was killed following a stand-off with police at a downtown garage, and several other suspects are in custody, but it’s still unclear if all of the people involved are accounted for. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said that the suspect involved in the stand-off told negotiators before he was killed that he was upset by recent police shootings and was targeting white officers. By all accounts, the protest was peaceful prior to the shooting. Hundreds were marching through downtown in solidarity with protesters across the country, spurred by the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in MinnesotaCell phone video from witnesses in Dallas show dozens and dozens of gun shots echoing through downtown as dusk fell. Some witnesses say they heard as many as 50 shots fired. The Morning News‘s powerful editorial on the tragic shooting is worth your time.


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


The Response
State and national leaders responded as the shooting in Dallas unfolded. President Barack Obama weighed in from Poland, making a brief statement to reporters early Friday morning that condemned the violence as “a vicious, calculated, and despicable attack on law enforcement.” According to the Morning News, Obama also said he had been in touch with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and offered federal aid. “We are horrified over these events and we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas,” Obama said, adding that “justice will be done.” In a statement last night, Governor Greg Abbott offered his thoughts and prayers in solidarity with Dallas’s law enforcement, and called for the country to come together. “In times like this we must remember—and emphasize—the importance of uniting as Americans,” Abbott said. According to the Morning News, Abbott cut short an out-of-state trip and to head to Dallas. Senator Ted Cruz released the following statement on Twitter: “Men & women of law enforcement selflessly run into harm’s way to save the lives of others. May God protect them and bring peace upon Dallas.”

Ted Talks
Senator Ted Cruz met with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday and agreed to speak at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Hey, remember when Trump called Cruz’s wife ugly and said Cruz’s father maybe sort of killed John F. Kennedy? And remember how Cruz called Trump a “sniveling coward“? Those were the days. Anyway, it seems as though the bitter rivals have mended their broken relationship (sort of). According to the Texas Tribune, Cruz was “happy” to accept Trump’s request that he speak at the convention, and a Cruz spokesperson also said Trump asked the failed presidential candidate “for his counsel on future judicial nominations.” According to CNN, Cruz and Trump “agreed to no longer work against each other” and to “work together on policy issues where they share common ground.” But Cruz’s camp was quite clear in pointing out that one plus one does not equal two, claiming that none of this adds up to an endorsement of Trump.

Mass Exodus
Baylor University’s football roster continues to thin out following the firing of head coach Art Briles amid a sweeping university sexual assault scandal. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, Baylor’s roster is down to just 70 out of the 85 allowed by the NCAA, and its 2016 recruiting class has shrunk to just twelve. Baylor’s football performance is certainly the least important outcome after a plague of sexual assaults has shattered the fabric of the university, but it’s still worth noting that the scandal has had a clear impact on Baylor’s ability to recruit new student-athletes. Twelve recruits have rescinded their commitment from Baylor since May, when Briles was fired and parts of an independent report were released showing that the school badly mishandled allegations of sexual assault, particularly those made against football players. Meanwhile, Baylor announced the formation of a new task force focused on getting Baylor back on the track of its “Christian mission,” according to the Tribune-Herald.


WHAT WE’RE READING


A cheap drug test sends innocent people to prison in Harris County New York Times Magazine

Lubbock shattered a record-high temperature for July 7 on Thursday, reaching 109 degrees Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

A team of student chefs from tiny Tulia High School placed third in a national culinary competition Amarillo Globe-News

The homeless teenager charged with murdering a University of Texas freshman will plead not guilty KXAN

Border patrol corruption is often a family affair Texas Tribune

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  • José

    Some gun rights activists maintain that the true purpose of the Second Amendment is so that citizens can protect themselves from an oppressive and tyrannical government. The Dallas shooters were applying that very logic in the aftermath of new incidents of police shooting black people without apparent justification. Thank you, gun nuts.
    There is no excuse for the sniper shootings, none. However my stomach churns at seeing how many white folks are suddenly in an uproar over these deaths but they were silent for so long while black people were assaulted and killed by police, over and over again.