Last week was a violent week for our country. In Louisiana, on July 5, Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police in front of his girlfriend, who recorded it. In Minnesota, on July 6, Philandro Castile was shot and killed by police. On July 7, in response to the violent shootings of two black men by police, protests were organized under “Black Lives Matter”. These protests were staged in many cities across the country.

          In Dallas, the “Black Lives Matter” protest ended peacefully. But then shots were fired. Five police officers were killed, 9 injured, and two bystanders wounded.

          This was an active shooter situation. An active shooter is an individual, who kills or attempts to kill people in a confined and populated area. Into Dallas streets crowded with peaceful protestors and police, Johnson made a decision to open fire.

          Dallas was a peaceful protest and, according to Police Chief David Brown, the Dallas police department had not had any fatal shootings by police officers this year. And yet, Dallas was where an individual, Johnson, was located when he decided to react to the recent shooting events.

Brown then shared some of what the suspect said during negotiations with police.

“He was upset about Black Lives Matter,” Brown said, adding that the man cited the recent killings of black people and said that he wanted to kill white people — particularly white police officers.”

Quote from NPR (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/07/08/485220431/were-hurting-dallas-police-chief-david-brown-says)

          Several violet shootings in just a few days is terrifying. And that they were in unrelated locations is alarming. Social media and news networks allow us to keep in touch with national and global news in real time, which keeps us abreast of news as it happens. It also means that local events can spark reactions from far away. Since we don’t know how the people around us are reacting to the news they are tracking, please keep yourself aware of the environment and people around you. Remember don’t just track your newsfeeds, track your environment!

          What can you do to be better prepared? Be vigilant of your surroundings and what is happening around you. Be cautious of any protest gatherings or any gatherings that involve controversial viewpoints. Keep an eye out for places to use as potential concealment and cover. Remember that heightened awareness of your current situation and surroundings is key to your personal safety.

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