Local Community, Law Enforcement Speak Out Against Dallas Shooti - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Community, Law Enforcement Speak Out Against Dallas Shooting

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This vigil was held on the Circle in Georgetown in honor of those killed in recent shootings in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Baton Rouge (Source: WBOC) This vigil was held on the Circle in Georgetown in honor of those killed in recent shootings in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Baton Rouge (Source: WBOC)
Ocean View Police Chief Kenneth McLaughlin said this Dallas shooting is indicative of a bigger problem (Source: WBOC) Ocean View Police Chief Kenneth McLaughlin said this Dallas shooting is indicative of a bigger problem (Source: WBOC)

GEORGETOWN, Del. - Across the country, people are speaking out about the horrific ambush on police late Thursday night. A sniper opened fire on officers, during a peaceful protest against police shootings in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge. The shooter, now identified as Micah Johnson, killed five officers and injured seven others. He also shot and injured two civilians, who were at the protest.

To speak out against the violence, community members gathered for a last-minute vigil at the Circle in Georgetown. The vigil was planned by the Lower Sussex NAACP, not only to honor the victim's of the Dallas shooting, but also for those killed in two police shootings in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge.

Georgetown Police Chief R.L. Hughes was at the event on Friday, and said that everyone in the law enforcement family is hurting this week.

"There are fathers," he said. "And brothers. And sisters that aren't there now. That's extremely tragic and touches me on the personal level. But quite frankly, we've lost something as a community when this is something that we resort to."

Community advocate Ivan Neal said justice is a focus of the vigil as well. He said that the police shootings should be highly scrutinized, and the officers must be held accountable if there was wrong-doing. Nonetheless, he said violence against police officers is unacceptable. 

"We're a nation of laws," he said. "And systems. And to see what happened in Dallas, that was just heartbreaking. It was a sad day for our country."

Ocean View Police Chief Kenneth McLaughlin said that the most recent shooting in Dallas is indicative of a larger problem nationwide. He said more needs to be done to mend the relationship between police and the communities they serve. 

“We’ve got to really take a look at this anti-police rhetoric that is I think in a lot of cases based on misinformation. We saw a lot of this stem from the Ferguson incident.” 

In Wicomico County, Sheriff Mike Lewis said that these recent acts of violence against law enforcement could cause a decrease in interest in the profession. He said this was a thought he had earlier in the day, when speaking to some new recruits.

"We don't make a whole lot of money," he said. "We don't get a whole lot of perks of the job whatsoever. We do it because we have a desire to give back to our community, to make our communities safer for those around us. It's very difficult when I looked at those two men and that one woman sitting in my office this morning and congratulating them on this profession. When deep down, I'm thinking you know what? I salute them for making this decision, while I don't know if I could make that same decision today."

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