DC Officers Patrolling in Pairs After Dallas Shootings | NBC4 Washington

DC Officers Patrolling in Pairs After Dallas Shootings

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    DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier speaks to the media on the morning after five Dallas police officers were shot and killed. She details the department's reaction and the plans they are making to keep officers and the community safe. (Published Friday, July 8, 2016)

    After the fatal shooting of five police officers in Dallas, the police chief in the nation's capital says officers are patrolling in pairs.

    Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a news conference Friday morning that officers are shaken by the events in Dallas, but they have to carry on their mission. She says officers doubled up starting on the midnight shift and they'll stay that way until further notice. Lanier said the police department also has increased security around buildings and lots.

    "I think the officers here realized that what happened in Texas is not reflective of what our community is here," Lanier said. "We have a good relationship with our community."

    Protests erupted nationwide in response to recent officer-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C., gathered outside the White House and marched their way to the U.S. Capitol.

    Lanier said officers were out with peaceful protesters until 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

    Deondre Moore, who was part of Thursday's peaceful march, said he's saddened by the shooting in Dallas.

    "Not all cops are the same, and I do believe that not all cops are bad. We have a few bad ones, just like there are a few bad people everywhere," Brown said. "You can't blame one demographic for what some people do."

    Lanier said the department will keep an eye on six protests that are scheduled for over the weekend. She did not say whether all of the planned protests are in response to this week's deadly police-involved shootings. 

    Thursday night, a gunman — later identified as 25-year-old Micah X. Johnson, of Mesquite — opened fire on police during a protest in Dallas, Texas. 

    Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Friday officers cornered Johnson and tried to negotiate with him for several hours before talks broke down. The suspect told police he was upset by recent police shootings and "wanted to kill white people."

    After an exchange of gunfire, officers attached explosives to a bomb robot and detonated them near the suspect, killing him.

    Brown said before the standoff ended the suspected shooter told a hostage negotiator he was upset about recent shootings involving police officers and that he specifically wanted to kill white police officers. He added that he was not affiliated with any group, carried out the act alone and said police would eventually find the IEDs he claimed to have placed around the city.

    Friday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser participated in a wreath-laying at the District's National Law Enforcement Memorial. 

    "Today we mourn the fallen. We pray for them, and we pray for their families. Solidarity with Dallas," Bowser said at the memorial. "...There is no place in our nation for this week's violence."

    D.C. flags have been lowered as a sign of solidarity with Dallas, she said. 

    "I know one thing for sure as the mayor of a big city: Violence does nothing to cure our societal ills. We won't heal the wounds that are needed to be healed in Minnesota or Lousiana," she said, referring to the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by officers earlier this week. "We know that only justice can do that, only coming together can do that and only acting in solidarity."

    Bowser pledged D.C. would be "part of the national conversation" to solve root causes of violence and to build trust between police and the communities they solve.