tonight, a special edition of "nightline." lethal force. >> breaking news tonight. police officers come under fire at a dallas protest rally. there are fatalities. the rally in response to two deadly police shootings in two days. >> we're waiting for -- i will, sir. no worries. i will. >> the aftermath of the shooting in minneapolis live streamed. >> you shot four bullets into him, sir. he was just getting his license and registration, sir. >> the altercation in louisiana caught on camera. new details on the confrontation in baton rouge. in st. paul the city reels from a traffic stop gone terribly wrong. a nation on edge tonight with renewed questions about police tactics and excessive force. this is a special edition of
>> announcer: this is a special edition of "nightline," "lethal force." good evening. and we begin here tonight with the breaking news out of dallas. gunfire erupting during a protest against the recent fatal police shootings in minnesota and louisiana. police say at least two snipers fired on officers from elevated positions in downtown dallas, hitting at least 11 of them and
sending marchers running for cover. so far we're told four officers are dead, two in surgery, three in critical condition, and at least one civilian has been injured. here's what police told us during a press conference just a short while ago. >> we believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches in garages in the downtown area and planned to injury and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could. >> as we come on the air, police say they have taken one suspect into custody after a shootout. they've also released a picture of a man they're calling a person of interest. shortly before we came on the air police announced that this man had turned himself in. witnesses had said reportedly that this man may have been involved in the shootings. of course we do not know at this point. police also say the shooters may have planted a bomb in downtown dallas. they found a suspicious package
near one of the suspect's locations. that package is now being secured by the bomb squad. the city's mayor is calling tonight's events, quote, heartbreaking. again, 11 officers shot, four dead. of course this all comes on the heels of those incidents in louisiana and minnesota where black men were shot and killed by police officers. and for more on that let's go to my "nightline" co-anchor byron pitts, who tonight is in baton rouge. byron, good evening to you. >> reporter: dan, tonight we again as a nation are struggling with what cell phone recordings shows, what our hearts and minds tell us about race and justice in america. >> please don't tell me this, lord. please jesus don't tell me that he's gone. please don't tell me that he's gone. please, officer, don't tell me you that just did this to him. >> reporter: heartbreak live-streamed on facebook. a routine traffic stop on facebook. philando castille shot dead by an officer after he allegedly reached into his back pocket for
his wallet. according to his girlfriend diamond reynolds who took video of the aftermath. >> yierp hands where they are. >> i will keep my hands where they are. >> reporter: she says cast teel told the officer he was carrying a license to carry a gun. >> he was trying to get his license. >> reporter: another split-second decision outside this vons store in baton rouge, louisiana. that's elton sterling tackled to the ground by two officers responding to a 911 call. >> he pulled a gun on the complainant and told him he couldn't be around there. >> reporter: police show up assuming sterling is armed. but the ensuing altercation ending with their gunfire. sterling shot twice, dying on the scene. [ gunshots ] two black men killed by police. adding to the renewed and growing outrage over excessive force by cops. >> no justice, no peace! >> reporter: so many cases. according to the "washington post," in 2015 black men accounted for about 40% of the
unarmed people fatally shot by police. and "the guardian" claimed black young men were nine times more likely than other americans to be killed by police officers in 2015. >> stay with me. >> reporter: 9:00 p.m. last night, falcon heights, minnesota. the moment when diamond reynolds began recording. her boyfriend, bleeding out in the driver's seat. her daughter watching it all right behind her. >> keep your hands -- >> i will, sir. no worries. i will. [ bleep ]. he just shot his arm off. we got pulled over on larpenter. >> i told him not to reach for it. i told him to get his hand open. >> you told him to get his i.d., sir, and his driver's license. oh, my god. please don't tell me he's dead. please don't tell me my boyfriend just went like that. >> just keep your hands where they are. >> yes, i will, sir. i'll keep my hands where they are. >> you got my daughter? >> once out of the car she screams out for her daughter. >> get on your knees. get on your knees. >> they threw my phone,
facebook. >> reporter: police perform cpr on castile on the street. while reynolds is detained in a patrol car, her cell phone still recording. >> i don't know if he's okay or if he's not okay. i can't really do [ bleep ] because they got me handcuffed. >> it's really unfortunate that it was the citizen who worked to deescalate the situation and not the officer who we believed are being trained to deescalate those sort of situations. >> reporter: after nearly ten minutes of remarkable calm, reporting to her facebook community, reynolds breaks down. her daughter comforting her. >> i can't believe they just did that. [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. [ screaming ] >> it's okay. i'm right here with you. >> reporter: philando castile was 32 years old, a long-time employee of the st. paul public school system. today it release aid statement saying "kids loved him. he was smart, respectful and kind." the only run-in with the law was a minor traffic violation. my colleague gio benitez interviewed his grandfather sam
earlier today. >> he was a good kid. i never knowed him to be in any trouble or nothing like that. >> reporter: when his girlfriend diamond reynolds left the police station early this morning she again began broadcasting live on her facebook page. >> i'm so sorry. >> they did this to my daughter. they killed -- the police killed him in front of my daughter! >> reporter: a group of community members and media immediately began to surround her as she unpacked her pain. >> they took me to jail. >> they should have held -- >> they didn't give us water. they took everything from me. they put me in a room and separated me from my child. >> mm, mm. >> they treated me like a prisoner. >> reporter: she voiced anger at the officer involved with the shooting. >> i want justice. he should not be home with his family. he should be somewhere in jail handcuffed. >> reporter: he's currently on paid administrative leave. >> they are here to assassinate
us. >> yes, they are. >> they are here to kill us. >> murderers. >> because we are black. >> i chose to allow the video to go live ten seconds before my phone died because i wanted everybody in the world to see what the police do and how they roll. and it's not right. >> that's right. >> it's not acceptable. i didn't do it for pity. i didn't do it for fame. i did it so that the world knows that these police are not here to protect and serve us. >> it's a great thing that facebook live was a tool that helped us in the minnesota situation. but it's also a really sad commentary that citizens of this country feel they must leave their houses with their cell phones charged in order to make sure that they're able to document these sort of incidents. >> reporter: not long afterward reynolds got a face-to-face apology from minnesota governor mark dayton. >> i can't tell you how sorry i am for the terrible tragedy that's been forced on you and your family. >> i don't want you guys to be
sorry. i want y'all to be more careful. >> you want justice. >> reporter: this afternoon the governor saying out loud what many were thinking. >> would this have happened if those passengers, the driver or the passenger were white? i don't think it would have. >> reporter: it's a similar question being raised everywhere. >> no justice, no peace. >> reporter: today in baton rouge a mix of seething anger, steadfast solidarity, and pain. >> the individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended upon their daddy on a daily basis. >> reporter: a son grapples with the loss of his father, elton sterling. it all started with a phone call to 911 yesterday of a man allegedly matching sterling's description, carrying a gun. >> gun in his pocket. he pulled a gun on the complainant. >> reporter: store owner abdullah muflahi says he witnessed part of the confrontation when cops arrived on the scene but his store's security camera footage was confiscated by law enforcement.
and there you can see the two security cameras outside the store. the store owner tells us it would have captured the entire incident from the moment the police arrived to the moment alton sterling died. >> was he being belligerent? was he cursing at the police? was he menacing? >> not at all. he wasn't -- he just was confused. he didn't know why, what was going on. he didn't know what they wanted from him, why they was there. he asked them what did i do wrong, what's going on? and that question was asked. they weren't answering his question. >> reporter: that's when muflahi and another eyewitness begin filming with their smartphones. sterling is wrestled to the ground by two cops trying to restrain him. >> [ bleep ]. >> reporter: both officers appear to react to something and reach for their gun. >> gun, gun! >> you move, i swear to god. [ gunshots ] >> reporter: they fire six shots according to muflahi. bullets piercing sterling's body, killing him. afterwards we see the cops
removing a small object from sterling's pocket. law enforcement has yet to confirm if it was a gun recovered from sterling. but muflahi says he saw police pull a gun from sterling's pocket. a gun authorities say sterling con legally carry because he was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm. east baton rouge district attorney stating officers believed they were totally justified in using deadly force. the u.s. department of justice was brought in to investigate. particularly in question will be their encounter before the smartphone video started recording. possibly caught on that security camera footage. and what happened in the seconds right before the cop fired his gun. >> he was partially restrained by the police officers. but his one hand was still moving. and at the end of the day the determination of whether this was a reasonable use of fatal, or deadly force or not will be based on whether it was reasonable for those officers to believe that he with that free
hand was trying to go for a possible weapon. >> reporter: and tonight questions about the backgrounds of the two police officers. blane salamoni a four-year veteran, and a three-year veteran. >> the intersection where the shooting happened is still packed with people. the mood here we've seen in other places like ferguson and baltimore with two major differences. one, no police presence. two, no violence. >> reporter: since his death this mural of alton painted outside the store he was killed in front of. and today the images of a family shaken by the sudden violent loss. >> how are you? how's the family holding up? >> everybody's torn down. we're not broken but we're torn down. we don't have no place in our lives right now for weakness. none at all. because justice has to prevail. they slayed my nephew right here. see the stains and blood there on the ground. alton was a gentle giant. he was a big boy but he was
gentle. >> the justice department's controlling the investigation. are you encouraged by that? >> no. no, i'm not. >> reporter: because? >> no justice, no peace. >> reporter: her anger is palpable. >> police have promised to protect and serve us. here in louisiana they didn't do that. it's not just alton. it's so many kids here. the police run them down. they're dogs. they're damn dogs. >> reporter: her sentiments echoed by so many in baton rouge. >> hands up, don't shoot. >> reporter: and when we come back, the outrage spreads across the country and across the internet. ♪ take on any road with intuitive all-wheel drive. the nissan rogue, murano and pathfinder. now get 0% apr for up to 72 months, plus $500 bonus cash.
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welcome back. we want to return now to the breaking news out of dallas, texas. police say at least two snipers ambushed police officers tonight, hitting 11 of them. the officers were on duty at a rally in downtown dallas against the recent fatal police shootings of black men in louisiana and minneapolis. in dallas tonight four of those police officers are dead. several others are in critical condition. let's get some reports now from the scene. we're going to start with abc's adrian bankert, who just arrived in downtown dallas. adrian, tell us where you are exactly and what you're seeing. >> reporter: we are right at the corner of lamar and ross. right behind me you can see police cars. you can also see a number of bystanders still sitting here, standing here on the sidewalk. some of them work right across this police line, but they can't get through. they won't be able to get through as this is still a very active scene. some of them use public transportation but the buses and the trains are not running at this time. some just have questions about what is happening next because
the sound of gunfire shook this part of dallas. i mean, this is a nice area. this is a neighborhood that doesn't see this kind of police activity. of course we received the word around 9:00 p.m. that several police officers were shot. now we know four of those officers have been fatally killed. we also know too that there's no word yet as to that second shooter. one shooter down. we knew there were negotiations but because this is an active scene several streets are still closed. i myself came here off of interstate 30 and 35. there are a number of streets still blocked off. this is a very active scene. we're not going to be able to get through this part of dallas. some very landmark locations. union tower. clyde warren park. some spots in dallas that locals and tourists enjoy. but right now we know this was a scene of terror just a couple of hours ago and it's not over yet. dan? >> let me just pick up on your last point that it's not over yet. we know -- i believe you are standing right where one of the
suspects was allegedly holed up. and there was a negotiation and a shootout and that suspect is now in custody. what more can you tell us about that situation and the other suspect who apparently remains at large? >> all we know right now is that one suspect was neutralized. the other still again a question mark surrounding that suspect. and we also know too that when we were arriving on scene we came up one of the main streets here surrounding this busy location. police said we cannot let you through, you will be directly in the line of fire. now, we don't want to speculate as to what that exactly meant, but we do know that police were concerned for our safety. they're concerned for any bystanders' safety. and people are not allowed through at this time. they're being detoured. and from what a couple of folks here on scene told us, the buses are not running, the trains are not running, and so you're not going to be able to travel through downtown dallas, at least in this part. dan? >> it is a huge shock for the city of dallas, no question. i just want to clarify a little
bit about -- there was a picture released. i believe we have the picture that the police released a short while ago of a man. there he is. who they were referring to as a person of interest. some witnesses had reportedly said that this man may have been involved in the shootings. we're now told, as we reported at the top of the broadcast, that this man turned himself in to police. so we have, as adrienne told us earlier, we have one suspect who has been in her fwhurltdsized and is in custody, and another person of interest, the man whose picture we were just showing you who has turned himself in. and to recap, a terrible night in the city of dallas, texas. we have 11 officers shot by at least two snipers, according to police, during a rally against police shootings, fatal police shootings recently in louisiana and minnesota. four officers killed, several
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we're back with our coverage of the breaking story out of dallas. another act of madness in america. the scene of the crime downtown dallas. 11 officers shot. four of them fatally. by at least two snipers who had positioned themselves on high buildings and opened fire during a rally against recent fatal police shootings of black men in louisiana and minnesota. the mayor of dallas recently spoke. here's what he had to say. >> i ask everybody to focus on one thing right now, and that is the dallas police officers, their families, those that are deceased, those that are in the hospital fighting for their lives. let's all come together and support our police officers. >> abc news radio reporter jim ryan has been on the scene for hours in dallas. jim, you've been speaking to people who were right there at 9:00 central time when the