Examining the Fraught Subject of Guns and Police

Examining the Fraught Subject of Guns and Police

Illustration by John Gall STANDOFF Race, Policing, and a Deadly Assault That Gripped a Nation By Jamie Thompson 320 pp. Holt. $27.99. In July 2016, Micah Johnson told his mother he was headed to a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas. He never returned. Five Dallas police officers also headed to the same rally. They never returned. Dallas, the city where one of the most beloved presidents in the history of the United States was assassinated by a former member of its military, was once again under siege. In “Standoff: Race, Policing, and a Deadly Assault That Gripped a Nation,” Thompson, a journalist, chronicles the events surrounding Johnson’s killing of the five officers. In her ticktock, scene-driven account, she presents a cavalcade of characters and carefully constructed episodes, but too often she seems to be writing for the big screen rather than for readers. Still, the book is eerily prescient, documenting yet another moment of great social unrest that preceded the killing of George Floyd and the demonstrations of this year. In 2016 Dallas citizens protested police brutality. For their part, the Dallas police, who are brilliantly and exhaustively profiled in Thompson’s book, seem to have seen their work as brutal by necessity. Image Credit…none Thompson’s narrative provides multiple points of view. At the memorial for the five officers killed, for example, President Barack Obama also mentioned two Black men killed by the police that month, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Connecting losses of life, he spoke of the […]

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