UPDATED: 1:26 pm. EDT — The gunman died from his wounds in what is an anomaly with police shootings along racial lines as unarmed Black suspects seem to wind up dead for being accused of far less. The unidentified white shooter had previously been hospitalized and arrested.
Police in a city and state where law enforcement has developed a reputation for shooting to kill its suspects somehow managed to keep a heavily armed gunman alive after the white man shot at a federal building in downtown Dallas on Monday morning. The apprehension of the unidentified shooter who used an apparent machine gun stood in stark contrast to the deadly nature in which police in Texas typically seem to approach unarmed Black suspects.
Police in Dallas managed to shoot the gunman and, according to the Dallas Morning News, took him to a nearby hospital afterward. While there were not any reports of the gunman’s race, video footage from the shooting and photos of him being subdued (read: not killed) showed he appeared to be white.
Police reportedly rendered first aid on the spot and had an ambulance quickly transport the suspect to the hospital.
That report was a far cry from those of cops who have been accused of not trying to save the lives of Black suspects.
The bomb squad even showed up as police suspected his vehicle may have had some explosives. “One witness told CNN affiliate KTVT that he was walking into the federal courthouse in Dallas when a group of people ran out and he heard about 10 to 15 gunshots in rapid succession. The witness, Don Miles, said he turned and ran across the street to safety,” according to CNN.
“It was just a whole lot of shots going on,” Miles said. Still, the suspect somehow amazingly survived his encounter with police at the Earle Cabell Federal Building.
It was just last week in nearby Fort Worth where police carried out a “death sentence” on JaQuavion Slaton, who was killed in a hail of 10 bullets in a matter of seconds while he did in a car. Police have said Slaton was armed, but community activists have challenged that narrative. However, even if he was armed, Monday’s police response shows that they have the proper training to apprehend an armed suspect without resorting to lethal force.
Prior to that, a police officer in suburban Houston killed an unarmed grandmother who he knew suffered from schizophrenia. The shooting in Baytown was recorded on video and contradicted the cop’s claim that Pamela Turner used his Taser on him. The cop who killed was returned to active duty less than a week later as Turner was buried and officials appear to have swept the shooting under the blue rug of silence.
But perhaps the most recently recognizable instance of police using deadly force against an unarmed Black person also took place in Dallas, where Amber Guyger illegally entered the home of Botham Jean and shot him to death.
The trend of police arresting violent criminal suspects who are white versus impulsively trying to kill — like the treatment typically afforded to Black suspects — has shown no signs of letting up anytime soon. That was true last month when Alabama police arrested a white man who allegedly shot and killed one police officer while injuring two others. It was hard to imagine police treating a suspected Black cop killer with the same level of humanity. In Ohio last year, cops peacefully arrested an open white supremacist who targeted and killed two Black people by shooting them in the head. And in Pennsylvania, police managed to arrest a white man who shot and killed a man at a municipal building. All of these gunmen managed to survive their encounters with police while unarmed Black men would likely end up shot at best and killed at worst if they were in the same situations.
The response in Dallas Monday morning shows that police there have the training to know when to use lethal force. But the police force’s apparent implicit bias against Black suspects, whether armed or not, seems to blind that judgment, to put it mildly.