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CSU President: violence and hate are not the answer to anything

Flags outside Lory Student Center at half-mast following the Dallas Police shooting (Photo by Julia Rentsch).
Flags outside Lory Student Center at half-mast following the Dallas Police shooting (Julia Rentsch / Collegian).

Communities across the U.S. have reacted with horror and sadness to the killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, Thursday night during a protest of the police shootings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana earlier this week. CSU and the Colorado Capitol Building have lowered their flags to half-mast in response to the violence.

One suspect, now identified as 25-year-old Micah Johnson, was killed by remote detonation of a bomb, 12 officers were shot resulting in five fatalities and two civilians were wounded. Dallas Police believe Johnson was the only attacker and has since been killed.

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Colorado State University President Tony Frank issued a statement Friday afternoon in a piece titled “The Challenge Ahead.

“There are no easy answers, other than to say that violence and hate are not the answer to anything,” Frank wrote in the statement. “We join with all those who call for peace and justice – and reject violence – as any kind of solution to the difficult issues facing our nation and society.” 

The Facts So Far

12 officers were shot, with five fatalities during the peaceful protest of recent shootings in Lousiana of Alton Sterling and in Minnesota of Philando Castile, which brought the issue of police brutality back to the forefront of public discussion this week. The suspect was killed after a stand-off in which he was “not very cooperative” with Police negotiators, according to Dallas Police, and may have been motivated by these shootings.

“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown. “Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.”

Law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation reported to CNN that, “He had no criminal record or known terror ties.” The suspect was reportedly a veteran of the U.S. Army.

“The suspect told police negotiators that he was upset about recent police shootings, that he wanted to kill white people — especially white officers — and that he acted alone,” Brown said in a public statement.

Other Shootings

According to the Associated Press, officers in Tennessee, Georgia and Missouri have also been the target of other attacks in the aftermath of the shooting. Four officers were wounded in those attacks, but all are expected to survive.

According to the Fort Collins Coloradoanpolice shootings in Fort Collins are rare. Fort Collins police have killed 10 people in the last 24 years out of a total 20 shooting incidents. The last police reported police shooting in Fort Collins occurred when an officer was threatened by a sword-wielding local in March of this year.

Fort Collins Responds

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity will host a brown bag lunch on Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Diversity House, located at 645 S. Shields St. with the purpose of bringing together the community to discuss the recent shootings. CSU President Tony Frank also reminded the community that there are counseling services available for those who were affected by the shootings this week.

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“If you are in need of support or want to discuss concerns in confidence, students are encouraged to reach out to the CSU Health Network Counseling Center… or any of our Student Diversity offices, which are open during the summer and welcome all members of our CSU community,” Frank wrote in his statement.

Rep. Jared Polis, House representative for Colorado Congressional District 2, released this in a statement, “The pathway to greater peace, acceptance, and humanity is not through violence.  The only way we can heal as a nation is through loving and respecting one another.  We must do more to rise above and stop further devastation.”

Sen. Cory Gardner, the junior Republican senator from Colorado, said he was horrified by the shootings this week.

“Last night’s violence in Dallas is devastating. Our thoughts are with the families of the fallen officers and with those who were injured,” said Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado’s Democratic senior senator. “This vicious attack on a peaceful demonstration of people exercising their right to free speech is un-American. We must come together to ensure that all our citizens feel safe in their communities and protected by our system of justice.”

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper shared a message of unity and working together to recover. 

Fort Collins Police and the CSU campus police shared their support and sympathy for the Dallas Police.

https://twitter.com/FCPolice/status/751286364130254850

CSU’s Black and African-American Cultural Center hosted a gathering the night of July 7 to bring community members together in response to the police shootings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Lousiana earlier this week; representatives from the organization were not yet able to comment on the events in Dallas by press time. 

Fort Collins community members also offered their thoughts on the shooting via social media.

https://twitter.com/FCPSKimble/status/751274916838674434

 

Follow the Collegian for continuous updates on this story. The Collegian Staff can be reached at editor@collegian.com or on twitter via @CSUCollegian

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