Dallas Sniper Was Sent Home From Afghanistan
He was accused of sexually harassing female soldier
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2016 8:48 AM CDT
This photo posted on Facebook on April 30, 2016, shows Micah Johnson.   (Facebook via AP)
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(Newser) – More details are emerging on Micah Johnson, who is now believed to be the lone shooter in the attack that killed five police officers Thursday night. The 25-year-old former Army reservist was sent home from Afghanistan in 2014 after being accused of sexually harassing a female soldier, the AP reports. Bradford Glendening, the military lawyer who represented him, says the woman sought a protective order to keep Johnson away from her and her family. The Army sent Johnson stateside, recommending an "other than honorable discharge." "In his case, it was apparently so egregious, it was not just the act itself," Glendening says. "I'm sure that this guy was the black sheep of his unit." He says Johnson was set to be removed from the Army in September 2014 because of the incident, but inexplicably got an honorable discharge months later. In other developments:

  • Johnson had no criminal history, according to authorities. Local court records show his parents were divorced in 1996. He was believed to have shared a two-story tan brick home in Mesquite, a Dallas suburb, with family members. He graduated from John Horn High School in Mesquite, where he was a ROTC member, school district officials say.
  • The military says that for six years starting in 2009, Johnson served in the Army Reserve as a private first class with a specialty in carpentry and masonry.

  • Friends say Johnson didn't seem interested in politics, but his Facebook page suggests otherwise: He liked an assortment of black militant groups, his profile photo showed him wearing a dashiki and raising his fist over the words "Black Power," and his cover shot carried the red, black and green Pan-African flag.
  • One of the groups Johnson liked on Facebook, the African American Defense League, posted a message earlier in the week encouraging violence against police in response to the killing in Louisiana. Another group he liked was the New Black Panther Party, whose leaders have "long expressed virulently anti-white and anti-Semitic opinions," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • Johnson's Facebook page also contained information on Public Enemy member Professor Griff, a fierce critic of police violence who rejected any link to the Dallas shootings. "'No Mr white officer I do not train snipers to kill cops.'" he tweeted.
  • A family friend who knows Johnson's mother through church says Johnson was a changed man when he came back from Afghanistan. "He was withdrawn, didn't want to talk to people anymore, didn't believe in God anymore," 62-year-old Myrtle Booker tells the Dallas Morning News. She says he was more interested in guns. "But all that hating white people—no, we didn't know any of that."
  • The Morning News reports that starting in 2015, Johnson worked at Touch of Kindness, an agency that helps children and adults with learning disabilities. He is also believed to have worked for defense contractor General Dynamics at some point, though employees there say they have been told not to speak to the media.
  • Israel Cooper, a friend who played often basketball with Johnson, says he had a "cool vibe" and didn't seem violent at all. "It's the quiet ones that just do the most devastating stuff. You never see it coming. But then it's more expected, like 'I should have known,'" he says.
(One of the five officers killed has been identified as a Navy veteran who served three tours in Iraq.)
 

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