Pictured is suspected Dallas sniper Micah Johnson
By Editor-in-Chief Kathy Wray Coleman, a-23-year journalist who trained at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio for 17 years, and who interviewed now President Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview,
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CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-DALLAS, Texas-Five police officers were shot and killed and seven others wounded while policing an Alton Sterling protest in downtown Dallas, Texas Thursday night, the byproduct in part of heightened racial tensions between police and the Black community in conjunction with increased police killings nationwide of Black people.
The unprecedented attack on police by suspected sniper Micah Johnson, 25, was orchestrated, and well planned, say police.
He is dead too, and was killed by a bomb robot instituted by police.
Two civilians were also shot, but survived.
A largely Black major American city of some 1.2 million people, Dallas is all but shutdown, and police are on edge.
Sterling's death has re-ignited the debate over how far police can go when encountering suspects and otherwise, and is a reminder of how little Black life means now-a-days. He was killed this week by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana while begging for leniency, followed, also this week, by the shooting death of Philando Castile by a cop in Minnesota.
Demonstrations were being held across the country Thursday in response to the killings of Sterling and Castile, and police killings of Black men in general, though nothing new, but more visible in recent years due to new technology, including smart phones.
A host of Blacks have lost their lives via erroneous police killings that have caught the nation's attention, including twelve-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Stanton Island.
Black women are victims too.
Twenty-eight-year-old Sandra Bland was harassed and arrested by police in Waller County, Texas last year following a traffic stop, her lifeless body found hanging in a jail cell.
And Tanisha Anderson of Cleveland was slammed to the sidewalk and killed by a cop in 2014 in front of her home on the city's east side, a case still under investigation for possible charges against police.
Malissa Williams, 30, and Timothy Russell, 43, were shot and killed by Cleveland police in 2012 following a high speed car chase, neither of them wanted and both ceremoniously gunned -down with police slinging 137 bullets, 13 of them, and none of them Black.
Authorities have not said why the Dallas gunman targeted police at Thursday's mass killing, which occurred as hundreds of demonstrators were marching through the city streets.
Two of the other culprits , who were allegedly involved in the attacks but did not shoot at police, are now in custody, and another shot himself in a standoff with police.
Police said Friday that the investigation is ongoing and could not say whether additional suspects might have been involved in the tragedy.
No deadly explosives were found at the deadly scene or nearby, police said.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that his officers were slain for simply providing protection to protesters who gathered for a free speech demonstration.
The protest was peaceful and gunshots rang out as the rally was closing.
Video footage shows total chaos, police tipping through the streets and looking over their shoulders, and terrified protesters vividly running for cover.
Out of the country on a visit to Poland President Barack Obama branded the killings, a "viscous, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement."
Many people expressed dismay, and said the anger is misplaced, and that they are sad for the officers killed and wounded, and their families.
Others have said that the chickens have come home to roost and that police are simply getting back what they have done to Black people with impunity.
Some greater Cleveland Black activists are blaming the system.
"When people feel that they are backed in a corner with no recourse you end up with bad things happening," said Alfred Porter, president of the Cleveland-based grassroots group Black on Black Crime Inc. "I am not shocked by those that feel they have to strike back in a violent manner."
Black leaders and community activists say the problem is larger than excessive force police killings, and is systemic.
Now is the time, they say, to address problems in the legal system and across the spectrum, including all White and racist juries, and the disproportionate and unfair manner by which Blacks are indicted, prosecuted and imprisoned, many lacking the resources to fight back.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said Friday that in spite of the problems facing the Black community, violence is not the proper response.
"We must not fight violence with violence." tweeted Jackson. "Nonviolence is the best way."
What impact the mass shooting in Dallas will have on future Civil Rights or other protests remains to be seen as Cleveland prepares to host thousands of demonstrators from around the world at the Republican Nation Convention the week of July 18-21.