DALLAS, Texas — It’s been just over three weeks since five Dallas police officers were killed during a protest march against police violence. Gunman Micah Xavier Johnson was killed during a standoff at a downtown community college.
The main organizing group of that demonstration says now is the time to move forward with another protest march.
The Next Generation Action Network, which bills itself as a “not-for-profit organization striving for social change,” is planning what it describes as a “silent march” in downtown Dallas on Friday night.
“The past couple of weeks have been extremely difficult for the city of Dallas,” said the Rev. Dominique Alexander, the network president. “Our community and country have lost too many lives, both civilians and officers. We will be marching tomorrow in memory of those who have fallen and in Next Generation Action Network’s continued battle against police brutality. We will not wait for another Alton Sterling or Jose Cruz tragedy in order to continue our mission.”
Alexander said he was shocked and horrified as gunshots rang out during their July 7 protest, the deadliest attack on Unites States police officers since 9/11.
Friday night’s protest was originally scheduled to happen last week, but was moved to this week by out of respect for fallen officers’ families in both Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“We have been very respectful to our losses in the community. But our organization is not going to forget about the loss of lives that have been taken by the hands of police officers,” Alexander said.
“Our country has gone through many great triumphs with our right to protest. When Martin Luther King walked across the bridge in Selma the Tuesday after Bloody Sunday, the people did not believe it was too early.”
In a statement released Wednesday night, the Dallas Police Department wrote it “will not interfere with a lawful and peaceful assembly of any individuals or groups expressing their First Amendment rights. The Dallas Police Department will take enforcement action if any type of criminal offense is committed against any person or property. Enforcement action will also be taken if demonstrators illegally impede traffic in the roadway or attempt to shut down a freeway. The safety of our officers and citizens is the primary concern as individuals or groups gather to express their First Amendment rights.”