Police Chief: Dallas Sniper Had 'Devastating' Plans

Micah Johnson 'thought what he was doing was righteous'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2016 5:09 AM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2016 6:17 AM CDT
Police Chief: Dallas Sniper Had 'Devastating' Plans
A group of motorcycles, organized by the group Ride DFW, ride past the memorial in front of police headquarters to pay respects in Dallas, Sunday, July 10, 2016. A peaceful protest over the recent videotaped shootings of black men by police turned violent Thursday night as gunman Micah Johnson shot...   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Dallas sniper Micah Johnson had plans for even greater mayhem than the murder of five police officers, Dallas Police Chief David Brown revealed in a CNN interview Sunday. The chief says bomb-making materials and a journal found at the 25-year-old's home signal that he had plans for an attack "large enough to have devastating effects throughout our city and our north Texas area." Johnson's journal is rambling and "delusional," Brown says, but police are "convinced that this suspect had other plans, and thought what he was doing was righteous." Brown says that long before last week's fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, Johnson had been plotting to punish police for what he saw as "law enforcement's efforts to punish people of color." In the same interview, the chief discussed the standoff, a message scrawled in blood, and the decision to use a robot to kill Johnson. In other developments:

  • The White House says President Obama will visit Dallas on Tuesday, but critics want to know why he isn't also visiting Baton Rouge, La., and St. Paul, Minn., after the police shootings there, the Washington Post reports.

  • A police source tells the Dallas Morning News that Johnson's journal isn't a coherent manifesto, but a rambling collection of writings that mix his thoughts on guns and violence with many other topics. "This guy might have been a loner," the source says. "But he was smart."
  • The Guardian reports that Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says armed marchers on Thursday made it harder for police to deal with the real gunman. "That is one of the real issues with the gun rights issues that we face—that in the middle of a firefight, it's hard to pick out the good guys and the bad guys," the mayor told CBS on Sunday.
  • Experts tell CNN that Johnson's Internet history suggests he may have been radicalized online by black nationalist groups using tactics earlier employed by groups such as white supremacists and radical Islamists. A friend says Johnson was obsessed with African-American history and would watch video of the beating of Rodney King over and over again. The friend describes Johnson as a "good black man with a little bit of an anger problem."
  • Dozens more protesters were arrested in Baton Rouge on Sunday when riot police clashed with a group that broke away from a peaceful protest, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Police say large chunks of concrete were thrown at officers, but their helmets saved them from injury. Hundreds were arrested in the city and in Minnesota in earlier protests.
  • As protests continued around the US, more than 1,000 demonstrators in Memphis, Tenn., occupied a bridge and halted traffic on Interstate 40 Sunday night, the AP reports. Protesters also halted highway traffic in Portsmouth, Va.
(More Dallas police shooting stories.)

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