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over our coverage from his studio there in dallas. >> brian, thank you. good day to you. i am craig melvin here in dallas, texas, on a tragic afternoon in one of this country's largest cities. the deadliest day four law enforcement in america since 9/11. five police officers dead, seven more hurt in a late night ambush just a short distance from where i stand here. not al qaeda, not isis or any other terror organization. it was a single person, as far as we know, an american without affiliation wanting to kill white people, specifically white police officers. the shooter on your screen identified as 25-year-old micah xavier johnson. he is dead. police killed him after a two-hour standoff using a robot. we'll have plenty of time to talk about him and whether or not he acted alone last night.
but today it's also important, very important to remember and honor the victims. including the slain officer who got married just about two weeks ago. truly a sad day for our nation, the latest chapter in an absolutely horrifying series of events. this week like so many times in recent history the nation watching videos of black men being shot by police on back to back days. a woman claiming to be johnson's aunt telling nbc news none of this should have happened. she responded, quote, i think you know the answer. it's due to how america is face ed with blood being spilled. i think a person can only take so much. last night started as a peaceful demonstration as a reaction cooperating together. then it turned to shear chaos.
>> assist, shots fired. >> code 3. stay off the radio, officer down. >> all s.w.a.t. officers on channel 2. code 3. market lamar, shots fired. >> we have got to get them out of here now. right now. get them here. >> we believe he's in el centro building. >> i think they have up on the first floor he has three people. i don't know if they are friendly or not. >> we've got s.w.a.t. outside. we've got an open window on the side of lamar. we've got rifles hanging out.
>> again, that was the scene not long ago a block behind me here in downtown dallas. roughly 20 square blocks, 20 blocks here in the downtown part of the city still shut down as the investigation continues at this hour. let's go over to baylor university hospital now. what more can you tell us about the victims and their conditions at this hour? >> many of the victims were brought here because this is the level one trauma center that treats most of the gunshot wounds. we have some video from last night. there was a moving tribute. police officers and hospital staff lined up outside of the e, as two of the slain officers were brought out. we know who three of those who passed away. one of them did three tours of duty in iraq.
michael krol was a former sheriffs deputy in wayne county michigan. and brent thompson with d.a.r.t. he was married just two weeks ago. we also have the names of the three d.a.r.t. officers that were injured. omar cannon, misty mcbride, and jesus retana. one of those officers has been released. the other two are still being treated here but are expected to be okay. craig? >> jesus is the officer released. tammy leitner, thank you. we'll come back to you in just a bit. let's turn now to the highest ranking law enforcement officer in dallas county. dallas county sheriff, i know you're very busy today. thank you so much for making some time for us. statistics about arrests and excessive force complaints show that the relationship in this county has dramatically improved
over the past five or six years. why did something like this happen in dallas? >> i think it's just a lone person that's doing something like this. of course, there's passion and there's a lot of angry feelings. we understand that. i think that's why here in dallas we work so well. the police officers do understand that and we do try to work with the community. if you notice today during the prayer and any other time when the community was there, the police officers were there. so we're not really sure why and this is the primary investigation of dallas police. we're just in a support function. they have most of the ball in this investigation. >> sheriff, can you shed any light on one of the outstanding questions here, the suspects. we had been told there were a
number of people that had been three people that had been taken into custody. they were being questioned. they were called suspects. we haven't heard anymore about those suspects. what can you tell us about that part of the investigation? >> unfortunately, i can't tell you very much. as respectful of who is carrying the investigation, we'll let them do all the discussion. if they are not bringing it out, there's a reason for that. so we'll allow them to take the lead. just like we expect others to respect what we're doing. >> there have been a number of folks who have been somewhat critical. there's a congressman here in texas that suggested that perhaps the police department and some of the other agencies
involved may not have been as prepared as they should have been because they were so close to the protest. some of the officers even marching with the protesters. what's your response to that that the officers may not have been prepared for this ambush? >> i think whoever suggested that does not know what's going on down here. how more prepared can you be than be right there with the protesters and walking side by side with them? in a situation, in a crisis nobody knows exactly what is going to happen. but if you notice there was quick reaction and dallas police along with other agencies went immediately to take care of the perimeter, safeguard the people, try to get their folks to the hospital as soon as possible. i don't think we can be criticized at this moment. i think at this moment the departments here are hurting. and i have said several times today at some point i'm going to
cry, but not right now because we're too busy. we need to take care of the things that are before us. i honestly believe that dallas police and everybody else around them reacted in the best possible way that could have happened at that time. >> sheriff, how are your officers doing today? >> we're busy. as long as you're busy, you don't have to deal with whatever is hurting in the head or the heart. but at some point, we'll deal with it. but right now we need to take care of the things that are around us. it's not just dallas police and us. from the federal to the local school district is there right in the middle helping everybody. >> sheriff, highest ranking law enforcement officer here in
dallas county. thank you so much. our thoughts and our prayers are we you and your officers and deputies. and the thoughts and prayers of this kocountry as well. >> thank you. >> we have been talking to a number of folks this morning who were a part ofhe protests last night who had to run and duck for cover. henderson was one of those folks who got caught in the cross fire. let's start from the beginning. you were a part of the protest. >> part of the rally. >> when did you realize that things had gone awry? >> after the rally, everything was pretty peaceful. i didn't go to the march, but i ended up going across the street to meet someone. so it was literally like 8:45, 9:00. i ended up leaving because i was going to catch a train home.
that's when you hear the shots. >> did it seem like the shots -- could you tell where they were coming from at that point? >> no, i couldn't tell. people were running and ducking and hiding behind walls. that was the scary part. >> where did you go? >> i was at a building that went right behind a wall. >> how long did you stay there? >> i stayed there for about 20 minutes. but then when we came out, somebody said duck again. so i wept right back and stayed there for 20 more minutes. there were no more shots at that time. >> but you heard shots? >> yes, sir. >> were you by yourself? >> no, i came down with some of my friends. i was walking by myself, but my friends were at the rally. but during the shot, i was with
nobody. >> this was a cowardly attack on police officers in your city. did you have any interaction with those officers during the attack after the attack? >> no, sir. i didn't talk to any officers. >> how would you characterize the relationship between people and the police in dallas, texas. >> obviously, you have cases like police brutality. i do believe that people that have been on the edge. a lot of people of color, men, women and children. it's a lack of accountability when things do happen. so you do have that tension right there where you have a lot of people in the community who do not trust those police. when it comes to rallies and protests, things are pretty peaceful. on an average day, there are some people who are really hesitant. >> my understanding is that today was your first day of teach iing creative writing at
juvenile justice center. is that right? >> yes, sir. >> i would imagine it took on different mean iing today. >> yes, sir, but a lot of the students knew about it. so we talked about that as well as things they were going through. >> what did they say to you? >> it was a cowardly attack. they didn't have many details. a lot of them did try to connect that to different rally. i was like, no, these are two separate things. >> but you know a lot of people are doing that today. they are connecting that rally and the causes that were being advanced at that rally to what happened to the police officers. >> right, and people say obviously i don't know that for sure. the rally was peaceful. i believe that's a separate thing. who began shooting, those are two completely separate things. the rally was peaceful. the police were cooperating with
the people. spraut things. so i see how somebody was trying to draw the line. >> i did talk to a guest earlier who was also in the melee last night. did you hear anything like that? >> later on, but not during the shots. while we were in the middle of the streets once things calmed down, you had people because it was one man who was arrested who had a gas mask on. he had his hands up. you did hear people saying things to the police. let him know why are y'all messing with him. he's not doing anything. so that's all i heard in regards to that. >> glad you're okay. >> appreciate your time. we'll have much more coming up from here in dallas, texas and within the hour. my colleague lester holt will join us with a democratic party's presumptive nominee
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craig melvin back live here in dallas, texas, where the investigation continues behind me. perhaps you can still see the yellow police tape. we're told that investigators are still walking around in addition to talking to people also picking up fragments as well. i'm going to step out for a second. i want to show a development here. this large police bus is the mobile command center that we
saw pull in maybe about 20 or 30 minutes or so ago. but that is something that was not there this time last hour. i want to bring in dominique alexander now. founder of next generation action network. this is the group that organized last night's protest here in dallas. there had been some questions about precisely who it was that organized the protest. was it just your group alone. >> it was our organization. we collaborated with other activists in the community. but our organization took on the obligation to organize this protest within 24 hours. >> what was the purpose of the protest? >> the purpose was a protest to come together to talk about the national argument of what's going on with police brutality in america. it was to respond to alton sterling and within hours later of us announcing it was to
respond to minnesota shooting. an officer has not been indicted for over 40 years in the city of dallas. so it was to talk about that we have our alton sterlings here in dallas. enough is enough. we need some concrete change when it comes to police brutality. >> the man that police say reeked the havoc here and killed those officers. did you know him? did you know of him? >> i never met him. never saw him. and we as an organization and as a community to addressing police brutality we say no to violence in any capacity. we do not condone violence. we know that violence will not bring the change that is needed in america.
we're asking people to stand together to bring the change that is necessarily needed. we are praying for the family of the officers that lost their lives. we're standing with them right now. >> we know officers were part of the rally last night. a number of them were even marching with you guys. we heard people were shouting things at the police. using language that e we can't use here on cable television. is that true? >> where i was, i didn't hear it. i was one of the ones that spoke at the courthouse when e we got there and when this came out. i didn't hear it in the front of the march where the advanced
officers that were shot were at the time. so i didn't hear anything of that nature, but i know if you lock at the dallas police department's twitter and look at our twitter account, you'll see this protest were going in a good manner and this was almost at its end. it was just one block from dispersing. so we accomplished what we were accomplishing. we were ready for our community meeting that we were going to have on thursday. we made positive strides out here. all chaos broke loose. so everything was going at its course. every movement and different things, people have their different ways of fighting the movement. i won't say people were out there saying anything, but the true purpose of the organizers that came out there that day, that wasn't our sentiment. our sentiment is we were tired of officers gunning us down in the communities across the country.
and enough is enough. in the city of dallas, we know we have the simple fact that an officer has not been indicted for over 40 years. we have our jason harrisons. we have many cases we have them here in the city of dallas. >> do you feel in any way, shape or form partly responsible for what happened here last night? >> no one can be responsible for this issue because we were ending. we were ending the protest. you can't point the blame at anyone. i was standing right beside an officer. no one knew what was going on.
there's two issues in america. there's an issue with police brutality and an issue with guns. and the elected officials that we elect in these offices or however, you feel, whatever party you align with need to address that issue so these type of actions where we are reacting, we need to be proactive and actually have the political process, do something for the people so the people can be safe when they exercise their constitutional right. >> that's a good spot to leave it. thank you. thank you very much. we will have much, much more from here in dallas, texas. we'll also have that interview. lester holt will be talking to the presumptive democratic nominee hillary clinton in just a short time. this is msnbc, we'll be right back. and then you totaled him.
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the moments leading up to the deadly attack on dallas police were caught by the protesters they were protecting and posted to social media before, during and after. cal perry joins me with more on these videos. i was watching your coverage last night with lawrence o'donnell. i was also on twitter and facebook watching a number of these videos as well. more videos have surfaced today, i understand. >> yeah, you could have watched this in realtime. you did and a lot of people at home did. it was coming through facebook live and some of these other things that carry live broadcast. as you mentioned since the shooting last night, we were able to find more video. this is coming from centro college last night. take a listen. you'll hear the shock and horror of the gunfire ringing out. >> that college was in lockdown
pretty much all night, but that gives you a sense of the chaos that existed in that area during the time of the shooting. police are going through all of this video. this is one of the positives about all this video being out there is they can use it in their investigation. whether or not they are trying to track down one gunman or multiple. this gives them a place to start. one of the sad things about this and you know this from being down in dallas. the dallas police department is really, really progressive on social media. they were live tweeting this march as it was going on and as the gunfire rang out they were still live tweeting trying to get information out. they are going to go it back through and relook at their social media procedures. they coordinated a lot of what they did with activists in that march. that's something they are looking at. how they can better use social media not only to prevent something like this from happening, but how to spread information accurately. there was some misinformation
put out by the dallas police department. it had to be retract ed and correct it. so these are all going to be things that not only the dallas police department but police departments around the country are going to have to do a lesson learned. >> among those mistakes i think you're talking about that suspect. they plastered a picture of a guy they said was a suspect. i did it too trying to be a helpful citizen. i retweeted it because it came from the dallas police department. and turns out the guy was not a suspect. it was a great picture of him. if you knew the guy, you could identify within a second. but this thing was retweeted tens of thousands of times. >> yeah, and one of the things that was amazing about that was they put out this fe toe of this individual. he's carrying a rifle. texas has open carry laws so you can do that. it's legal. he gives his gun to the police as soon as the shooting happens.
there's that misinformation that they are looking for this suspect. but we could see immediately video of him on the street when the shootings happened running for cover like everyone else. so you had that combination of all that digital material coming in, all that social material coming in. while it was spread quickly, we were able to correct it quickly because we had all this video that you're looking at now. >> every time there's an unfortunate situation like this, it does seem that we're talking about just regular citizens who take these things out, take out their cell phones and start shooting video, which is a lot better quality it seems like with each passing month. they are taking out cameras and shooting videos. we're talking about dallas today. earlier this week louisiana, minnesota as well. law enforcement officers and
officials there also using these things to help solve crimes and help crack cases. >> one of the things we have to keep in mind as members of the media and this came up last night as they surrounded that parking garage. they assumed the shooter had had one of these. they were worried. he can get the live feed and look at what the tactical units are doing. they put out a request to all media that nobody broadcast live what the tactical units are doing. that's a new development. that's a new concern that these police forces have that not only do people on the street have instant access to video and information, but that the shooter as well. we saw a really horrendous incident in paris unrelated to this. it was terror related. it was an attack on a police officer. it was broadcast live on facebook. it's something that authorities in this country and around the world are more and more concerned with. this unfiltered video coming
through that can't be controlled. as you said last night, you watched this unfold live on the internet. anyone with basic information about how to access this video would have been able to see very, very violent stuff taking place live on the streets of dallas. and society is going to have this conversation out. >> cal perry, thank you for your insight. we want to let our viewers now that texas governor greg abbott announcing that they are going to be having a news conference that's going to happen at 4:45 local time. that's at city hall. governor abbott along with the mayor of dallas. we will bring that to you when it happens here in just over two hours from now. our chief legal correspondent ari melber has been trying to
track down more information about this shooter. this 25-year-old who has been identified. he's an army reservist. i understand we have gotten some new information as well. what can you tell us? >> there's more information coming in according to nbc news. this individual micah johnson left the reserves in 2015. he was working as an aid for mentally challenged children. according to nbc news we spoke to her aunt who told a hostage negotiator he wanted to kill white people. that's something that has been reported and discussed. and this person said, i think a person can only take so much. it should not have happened. nobody wants to see that kind of tragedy. also as we have discussed there are pr rils in jumping to conclusions about photos. but nbc news has confirmed they have located johnson's facebook page. there were not a lot of public
postings, but there's a photo of him raising his fist in what could be a black power salute. you see that photo there. all of this goes to the type of information i can see legally that authorities look at when they try to determine or basically dig into the possible motives. i would stress that motives can be mixed. individuals can be inspired perhaps or motivated by certain things they have heard in the news or they believe and also potentially having other exacerbating factors. mental problems or what is the strain or impact of military duty here. so again, when we cite photos and family members, these are all pieces of a puzzle coming together. no one is saying we have the whole puzzle. that's some of the reporting that gives us some of his background and some of what his family thinks, some of what he looks like in the images he put forward on social media. >> ari, thank you.
while you were speaking, it appears as if some additional information here from our investigative team. also saying that he worked as an aid for mentally challenged children. ed we're going to sift through this. bring you more on the shooter here. much more from dallas, texas, in a moment. first, more eyewitness account to last night's ambush of 12 dallas police officers. >> i was walking and a sniper just started shooting. all the cops were getting shot. i saw cops bending over. there were five or six cops. it was right after the rally. we were just walking to the car. then all the cops. u saw three. we were running.
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johnson, who was killed by a police robot after an hour's long stand yuf in the early hours of this morning. federal investigators now focused on trying to figure out whether he had ties to some sort of domestic extremist organization. at this point it appears that they have ruled out any connection to an islamist extremist group like isis or al qaeda. i want to bring in the president and ceo of the national urban league. your group released a statement earlier today sharing condole e condolences for what happened here in dallas. you ended that statement by calling for the healing the riffs between law enforcement and the communities they serve. how do you balance the concerns of police and the concerns of their communities? >> we have no choice but to find
that common ground in america today. in less than a week, we have seen two citizens killed under suspicious circumstances. now we have the tragedy of law enforcement officers killed and some injured in an act of retaliation. this is maddening. this is a sickness. this is an illness that we have to confront. but what we have got to do is recognize that at the base of it all is this distrust. what has happened over the years is that these incidents have been captured on tape. they have been broadcast to the world. therefore, people can make their own mind up about whether they think it's right, whether they think it's wrong, whether they think it's appropriate or not. that's changed the court of public opinion with respect to
the relationship between police and citizens in a significant way. we have got to find that balance. i'm proud that i had experience in the '90s in new orleans in finding that balance and helping to build a police department in those days which reduced and eliminated civil rights complaints while at the same time finding a way to make the city safer. it's about community policing, it's about relationship building, but it's also about accountability. we determined that whether an offending officer was prosecuted or not, we were going to take personnel action. that meant the firing of over 50 officers for corruption and brutality and the like. so accountability is central to this. trust is central to this.
training is central to this. but we have got -- this cycle that we see is not healthy for this country. it's not healthy for america. but peace and i think good relationships does not come unless we deal with the underlying lack of distrust. it's got to be done on a city by city basis. >> we were talking this morning about how far the dallas area has come in terms of improving a relationship between the police and the people that the police. arrests are down, murder rate is down, officer-involved shootings are down. i had a conversation with dallas pastor t.j. jakes in the last hour. he said that he was not surprised by what happened here last night because he thought that it was a manifestation of the anger, if not rage, that had
been brewing and boiling over, in many cases, in communities all over this country. do you share that sentiment? do you think this was an isolated incident or do you think this is something that e we may see again because it was a manifestation? >> craig, we live in a nation that's bound together by media, by social media, bound together by text messages and cell pho phones. no longer is something that happens in dallas or baton rouge or chicago going to be limited if it's a high profile thing to those communities. it's going to play out on a national and international stage. the rage that's been brewing has to do with very few of the cases we have seen since the trayvon martin tragedy. very few of these cases have yielded any accountability.
certainly no prosecutions in many instances and no convictions with the exception of the case in brooklyn where there was a conviction, but no jail term. and that is really the issue. it has to do with whether there will be consequences or whether the way the system works is that if a person is killed by the police, there are no consequences for the police officer. that discretion is so proud and certainly latitude is so broad given to a law officer that there's no instance where the officer can be held accountable. that is not the law. that is not the constitution. it's certainly i think is what most americans do not want to e see. i think these public officials whether they are police officers, politicians should be held fully accountable. so this rage is brewing.
we work in communities across the nation. we continue to see many of the challenges of the economy, schools and the like. when this is added to some of this, people should not think that these are isolated incidents. this is a sense of the fact that the state of affairs in this nation is where it ought to be. >> mark, president and ceo of the national urban league. thank you, sir. >> thank you. when we come back, i'll talk to the guy who was there as a suspect. the guy we were just talking about on air. we tracked him down. he was a guy that was identified. he turned himself in. he was questioned. he was released. we'll get the story from him, right after this. to find a new way to keep up with the data from over 30 billion connected devices. just 30 billion?
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country are feeling a sense of helplessness, uncertainty and of fear. these feelings are understandable and they are justified, but the answer must violence. >> that was attorney general loretta lynch reacting to the tragic shooting of police officers here in dallas, texas, last night during an otherwise peaceful protest. philip goff is a professor. i understand that you also talked to the attorney general after those remarks today. what else did she tell you? >> she was addressing a closed group of -- a closed meeting of law enforcement activists and academics, and she just shared her pain. and a little bit of inspiration that we were all feeling that at the very least, at such a tragic time, there were community members who have deep faith in the need for reform and law
enforcement who shares that faith who were building and growing together at department of justice. it just so happened we were there at the same time as these tragic events. >> do you think it's been fair to connect this guy, this 25-year-old army reservist, to connect him to the cause that folks like you and folks like so many others have been marching and hoping and praying and meeting about over the last few years? [ inaudible ] with that? >> i lost you there for just a second but if the question is, is it fair to use this individual who went into a homicidal rage and targeted law enforcement as a symbol for black live matter, i'd say, no, it's not remotely fair. it is maddening. it is intolerable. it is blind to imagine that in the midst of not just peaceful protest but co-owned empowerment
between community and law enforcement, where you have patrol officers who are taking pictures of themselves with protesters before the march to imagine that this individual with a long gun and a short gun taking out his rage there has anything to do with that protest when the protesters were running in fear, it's backwards and divisive at best, and it's sinister at worst. not fair at all, no. >> what do you surmise now happens to the chasm, the growing chasm that exists between so many people in this country and law enforcement? what now happens to that gap because of what happened last night? >> well, as wide as the gap can be and has been for generations, we've also seen it growing together, right? so anybody today that imagines they've got answers is lying to themselves or lying to somebody else. so as an academic, i absolutely
don't have answers to this tragedy. what i will say is that i just spent two days with 30-plus law enforcement officials who stand shoulder to shoulder with the black lives matter activists in their community who themselves want reform. remember, law enforcement goes into their jobs to do the right thing for a living. they don't do it for the pay. they don't do it for the glory. they do it because their values align with the mission of their jobs. and many of the protesters, the vast majority of protesters i've met are doing this not because they hate police or they hate america. they love their communities. when you see corruption in a thing or something going wrong, you only intervene when you have great love for it. the values align here and so what i want to be really careful about, i've been hearing things and fielding questions about a growing gap and a growing war. we are not at war. this is not what's going on. what is going on is we have -- we've been empowered and enabled
a fringe to take the center. and that's what it means to take things back. to keep the fringe on the fringe and not let sick individuals use guns to divide us. >> philip goff, i always enjoy your insight. always enjoy your perspective. thanks for your time this afternoon, sir. >> thank you, craig. we do want to let you know, there has been a bit of a development here over the last few hours. authorities now telling nbc news that they believe this 25-year-old micah johnson, they believe that he acted alone. they believe that he was the lone gunman. there had been some talk of a number of suspects rounded up and taken into custody. at one point, three of them we were told were not cooperating. but within the last few months or so, authorities tell nbc news micah johnson was, in fact, the lone gunman. much, much more coming up from here in dallas, including nbc's
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welcome back to dallas, texas. officials learning more about one of the deadliest attacks. the shooter, 25-year-old micah xavier johnson was an army veteran. he had served in afghanistan. authorities say he was frustraitted with the state of policing in america. police now believe that he acted alone. here's a snapshot of what has happened in the last 72 hours in this country starting in baton rouge and ending here where i'm standing in dallas. >> [ bleep ]. >> he's got a gun. >> [ bleep ]. if you move -- >> i told him not to reach for it. >> you told him to get his i.d.,
his driver's license. >> oh, my god. please don't tell me he's dead. >> just an overflow of emotions because it's just like, it's live so i'm watching him fight -- >> fight for his life. >> and i'm trying to tell her to go faster. i'm trying to get there. i couldn't get there. >> it's our duty to fight for our freedom. >> it's our duty to fight for our freedom. ♪ tell me what democracy looks like ♪ >> don't shoot. don't shoot. >> [ bleep ]. >> go, go, go. >> he said he was upset about the recent police shootings. the suspect said he was upset at white people. the suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. >> doesn't matter whether we are
black or white, latino, asian american or native american. we are one people. we are one family. we are one house. we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters. if not, we will perish as fools. >> georgia congressman john lewis there. the conscience of the congress. in this case, the conscience of a country. it's 3:00 now here in dallas. 4:00 back east. want to take a second to remind you of what we know right now. what we know about last night's deadly shooting. five police officers are dead. seven more officers are hurt. a shooter now identified as 25-year-old micah xavier johnson opened fire at the end of what had been a peaceful protest here in dallas, texas. the city's police chief saying johnson, quote,