The queer-run Black Lives Matter group posted a statement on its website Friday, condemning the murders of five police officers in Dallas as a “tragedy,” and repeated its “call for justice, transparency and accountability” in the investigations into two deadly shootings of black men by police this week.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters a gunman who was in a standoff with police for several hours told authorities those incidents had upset him, cited the BLM group by name, and that he “wanted to kill white people.”
“The suspect said, he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said, he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect said he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
BLM was cofounded by Alicia Garza, a 34-year-old black queer woman whose partner is transgender, as reported by The Advocate. Her cofounders are Patrisse Cullors, who also identifies as queer, and Opal Tometi.
“This is a tragedy–both for those who have been impacted by yesterday’s attack and for our democracy,” the BLM statement reads.
“Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it. Yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.”
A senior law enforcement source told The New York Times there was indeed just one gunman in the murders of the police officers Friday afternoon, identifying the dead sniper as Micah X. Johnson, 25. That corrected earlier statements by police and officials who said there were at least two snipers acting in a coordinated ambush, shooting from elevated, triangulated positions in downtown buildings.
Johnson was an Army veteran who lived in the Dallas area, according to The Times, and apparently had no criminal record in Texas, and no connection to Black Lives Matter.