This past week across the United States, racial tensions erupted between black citizens and police. Earlier in the week, two black suspects were shot and killed by police in separate incidents that occurred in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In St. Paul, a black male named Philando Castile was shot while sitting in his car during a traffic stop. According to reports, Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the passenger’s seat, claimed the driver was shot for no apparent reason while reaching into his jacket for his license and registration. In Baton Rouge, Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot by two officers after a physical altercation outside of a convenience. Sterling had allegedly brandished a gun and threatened a homeless man.
Just prior to the start of the weekend, the anger and frustration from recent shootings spilled over in Dallas, Texas, where a sniper opened fire during a peaceful protest, killing five police officers and leaving another seven hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Yet another on-duty police office was shot and critically wounded while making a routine traffic stop in Ballwin, Missouri.
In Dallas, 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, an angry ex-U.S. Army reservist, used a semi-automatic rifle to open fire on police who were in the process of breaking up a peaceful protest over the week’s earlier shootings. The attack appeared to have been an ambush of police in retaliation for the supposed rash of shootings of black males all across the country. Johnson was eventually killed by police through the use of robot and bomb.
In Ballwin, a police officer was left in critical condition after he approached the Blue Taurus of one Antonio Taylor, a 31-year-old black man. What started as a routine traffic stop ended in tragedy after Taylor opened fire on the officer and then fled the scene. He was later captured and charged with assault of a police officer. The victim’s name has yet to be released.