The Rev. Dominique Alexander, the president of the group that organized the Thursday night protest in Dallas, condemned Friday the deadly ambush of police that took place near the end of the rally and offered condolences to the families of the five officers who were killed.
“We echo the words of President Obama yesterday when he stated, that because black lives matter, it does not mean blue lives do not matter,” Alexander, the president of the Next Generation Action Network said at a press conference. “With that being said, we condemn the actions that took lives of five officers and wounded seven. We sincerely thank the Dallas Police Department and the D.A.R.T. police for assisting us with our protest. We understand that although officers volunteered to risk their lives, they certainly do not deserve to die.”
Dr. Rev. Jeff Hood, another organizer of the protest, also expressed his sorrow for the officers killed and injured in the shooting. He emphasized that the protest was peaceful before the shooting broke out.
“We were interested in creating a space where anger could be let out. We were interested in creating a space where people could grieve. We were interested in creating a space where people could network to face head on the problem of police brutality in our country. We believe that there is no question that that rally did those things,” Hood said. “We left that rally in a non-violent fashion. The rally was non-violent. There was never a moment where I felt like there was even a hint of violence.”
Hood said that he believes he saw two officers shot and another officer run toward the shooting while marching in the protest. He said he turned around and ran, encouraging other protesters to run from the scene.
He encouraged Americans to turn to love and work toward unity in the wake of the deadly shooting.
“We’ve got to turn to love. We have to stop shooting. We have got to turn to love,” he said. “We cannot bring about justice through violence. We cannot bring about love through violence. If we continue to turn to violence, we are going to continue to see heartache and devastation.”