tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 8, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT
jim cavanaugh, formerly special agent in charge, atf, jim, you were talking earlier and perhaps for our later audience's benefit, talk about the time you spent in and around dallas and your experience and exposure to both the dallas transit cops and dallas p.d. >> yeah, right. well i was the assistant special agent in charge of the atf division in dallas. it's right there downtown blocks away from the shooting there. we worked, of course, extensively with dallas p.d. we had a lot of dallas p.d. officers on our task forces, and they worked the violent crime in the city with us. you know, we were trying to help them. of course they were a larger force than we were. but we targeted, you know, gun violence. that was atf's mission. of course, the bombs. we'd work with them constantly. we knew their command staffs. we met with them all the time. they're just one of the top police forces in the world.
their tactical team, we had a special relation with them. our -- atf's special response team, which is a s.w.a.t. team, one of our teams is based in dallas. they work regionally, and they have a very close representative working with the dallas p.d. s.w.a.t. and the fbi has an enhanced s.w.a.t. in their larger division. they have what is called an enhanced s.w.a.t. so those teams like fbi, s.w.a.t., atf special response team, called srt, dallas p.d. s.w.a.t., and all the cities around there that have s.w.a.t. teams, those tactical officers all interact constantly. negotiators work together. they're friends. they know each other. they train together. so there was always great relationships with dallas police department. it just hits you so deep to see this happen to anybody, any department, to lose this number of officers.
unfortunately, we did experience this ourselves, and i was in that shoot-out in waco, texas, when we lost four of our heroes and many wounded. and, you know, it was devastating to atf to lose that many guys. i mean it was just -- it just knocks you back. and this is -- dallas is going to have a tough time. i mean this is just really a tough time. and you got some people wounded, too. so they're going to -- they're focusing their energy on these shooters, the killers. just watching what patrol did here, those are the officers who were on the beat there. you talked about, brian, in front of the demonstration. you know, they went right to the parking garage. they were under the rifle fire. they were able to contain one of these killers in the parking garage. that's really exceptional police work to do that. a person could easily escape a parking garage in a city that size. but they were able to get in there, contain them.
now s.w.a.t. is dealing with them. and likely this can be all settled with -- it may be all settled with one shot from a long rifleman from dallas police s.w.a.t. because if this killer pops up in that parking garage to shoot his rifle, which he's been doing, and we've heard the reports of gunshots. one s.w.a.t. long rifleman will, you know -- one shot will end that. so he's not going to prevail. he's alone in a parking garage, and he's got one of the best s.w.a.t. teams in the world around him. so they're just, you know, what they're doing is operating so that they don't get any of their s.w.a.t. operators hurt or shot or wounded, or the public. and they've evacuated enough area to clear that. so now they just stay under cover. they get the advantage, and he'll either surrender. he'll charge them, suicide by cop, or he'll shoot himself, or he'll be taken out by a long rifle team. he's not going to be there, you
know, for any great length of time. he's going to run out of ammo, too, at the rate he was shooting at the officers and firing as well. he can't have -- how much ammo can he have? well, he might have a car with him, so he could have more than he could carry. but he's not going to have as much as the s.w.a.t. team is. >> it sounds like he's already expended a lot of clips. jim, thank you. reasonable people around the world are all hoping that this is ended tonight. so far we know of the arrest of the three individuals suspected to be a part of this. one woman among them. the associated press lead, as we've just started another -- the top of another hour, is staggering. dallas associated press. snipers open fire on police officers in the heart of dallas, killing four.
now five officers, injuring serve others during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men according to police. that is our world tonight as reflected in the urban violence that we have witnessed in dallas, texas. the video we're about to show you was shot by an eyewitness on the ground in dallas. he was out as part of this peaceful protest tonight when the shooting started. he captured it, and for a time was streaming it on facebook live. >> [ bleep ]. holy [ bleep ]. [ gunfire ] >> holy [ bleep ].
holy [ bleep ]. [ gunfire ] [ sirens ] >> they're shooting right now, and there's an officer down. it's coming from the right over there, from around these buildings. i don't know where. main street and lamar. this is main street and lamar. there's an officer down. they're moving in on somebody. >> a word here about technology amid all the horror we just
witnessed. facebook live, prior to tonight, was in the news all day today because it was the medium through which we saw the aftermath of the death of philando castile in minnesota. his death, that of alton sterling, was what gave rise to these almost spontaneous demonstrations in cities and towns across the country tonight. it was during a peaceful protest in the name of those two men, one of whom was televised in effect on facebook live. well, fast-forward to tonight. facebook live and periscope among the technologies people use to become journalists on the spot, citizen journalists,
broadcast live this unbelievable turn of events where at first, you hear them say there are shots being fired in downtown dallas. the din of approaching police cars is deafening. the police who at first respond don't realize they are the targets themselves. we witnessed it all tonight, and the worst of it all is the death toll. we've been reporting there at the bottom of your screen. five officers killed. a total of 11 hit. and we don't have a firm number of civilians. we do have a growing number of members of our team helping us out with the coverage of this horrendous story. a real state of emergency in a great american city tonight. chris jansing joins us here in the studio. chris, an unbelievable night for
our country. >> both horrible, brian, and horrifying. and such a contrast to what we saw in so many cities where these protests against the shooting of these two black men were so largely peaceful. i can tell you last night as i was walking home, i found myself in the middle of the one in new york city as people made their way along 6th avenue. many of the people had just come out of their offices and were heading home for the day and joined spontaneously, still dressed in their suits on a hot night, carrying -- many of them -- as i saw, sue jackeit j and just walking. i walked up to one man, and he said, i saw it, and i just had to be a part of it. as you pointed out, so many people had spent the day looking at that absolutely horrific video that we saw of philando castile, the 32-year-old school cafeteria manager whose girlfriend was showing all of the aftermath of this as she was
on facebook live. and basically so composed but saying that all he was doing was reaching for his license and registrati registration. and we could see the horrible pictures of the blood and a dying man inside that car. and then we see what happens now, what has unfolded in dallas overnight. important to point out that we don't have a specific motive. we don't know exactly how this was all organized, how it came together, how these people came together. but we want to bring in robert welansky, who is with the "dallas morning news." what can you tell us there now? >> well, everyone is still stationed outside the el centro community college parking garage. not far, just across the street from the dallas county courthouse. as i believe brian mentioned, a
couple of blocks from deally plaza. half an hour ago they exploded what sounded like a grenade. you heard a loud boom and the sound of shattering glass. perhaps to try to roust the suspect who police believe is still in the parking garage. you can see police with flashlights across the street from where we're standing at the parking garage. there are dozens of police officers. in fact, just a moment ago with guns and shields just walked past us down toward the courthouse and around the block. that's the situation at the moment here. >> so much of that area, we know, is an active crime scene as this is an ongoing situation. we heard at that press conference within the last hour from the mayor, who said that folks who live in dallas are going to have to check. there will be parts of that city will not be accessible tomorrow. there will be people who are not going to work. do you have a sense of how far or how broad this essentially
police situation is, this lockdown is in downtown dallas? >> i assume given the perimeter that the police just set up, it's going to be fairly sizeable. it stretches from the omni, which is near channel 8, all the way to el centro and probably beyond that to the highway to the west and certainly to the east as well. so this is a significant area of town that is currently cordoned off. it includes actually the greyhound bus station which is right behind where we're standing at the moment. yeah, i heard the mayor say that this is an active crime scene because as you heard the police chief say, the suspects have claimed that there are bombs in buildings or around downtown. so that is certainly a consideration as well. >> robert, if we assume the explosion was a concussion grenade, a flash bang, was there any visible change in the police stance? did it cause anything? did it change anything? i know you mentioned a group of them moving to another location.
>> there was no change. officers are staying where they are. in fact, many of them are lined up along the bank of america parking garage, bank of america being the two-story tallest building in the city. the neon green building that i'm sure you've seen tonight. they're lined up in front of the parking garage, the el centro parking garage along the bank of america garage across the street from here. everyone seems to sort of be watching and waiting at the moment. the helicopter that was flying overhead for the last hour has just left us, and here come another group of officers. i believe the same ones who just walked by me before are walking back with the rifles and shields. they're walking back toward the parking garage. >> robert, i know you're not with the chamber of commerce, but i wanted to give you an opportunity to talk about dallas, texas. as i've been saying all night for those of us who are, as they say, a certain age, dallas,
texas, entered our psyche at least, if you're not from there, because of what happened in november of 1963. it has since then spent decades getting beyond that, becoming a large prosperous metroplex along with ft. worth, a beautiful downtown known for a lot of other things, including jerry jones' creation. but now this terrible setback. talk to us about dallas, texas, the city you know, and what's ahead. >> i was born and raised here. my dad was born and raised here. i left my house -- i want to go back to something you said earlier about peaceful protests. this had been a very peaceful protest. perhaps you had seen the photographs of the officer, one black, one white, holding a no justice, no peace sign. this had been a very peaceful
protest. dallas has had a number of protests over the years, all of which have been very peaceful. there was no reason to believe this one was going to be any different. certainly others had agendas that were far more vicious, far more violent than anyone could have anticipated. the police and the citizens have by and large a very good relationsh relationship. [ inaudible ] i had to leave my house and explain to my 12-year-old son as i was leaving the house -- he was watching television. he spends a lot of time downtown. he loves the city as much as i do, as much as my father does. and my son was aghast. he said he wouldn't be able to sleep tonight. i hated the fact that i wasn't going to be home for him tonight. this is something that will -- i do not think we will understand until tomorrow or the next day,
until we begin burying our dead, what this has done to us. >> it's just unbelievable that we're talking about it. we're shattered for you. thank you very much for talking about your city. >> i can't put it any other way than that. there are moments when it sneaks up on you and it overwhelms you and it devastates you to see this happen in your city. you know, very often these are headlines that happen in far-away places. and for it to happen literally in our front yard -- we are blocks away from the "dallas morning news." they told us at one point tonight to draw our blinds because it wasn't safe to have our windows open. we've locked under front door, sealed it shut. we couldn't even leave our front door. to have it happen here at this moment, to have five officers lost, more gravely injured, the police chief and the mayor at
the hospitals, it's something that is unfathomable. i've heard from friends from all over the country asking if i'm okay. and i wrote in my column tonight, i'm not okay, and i don't think any of us are okay. and i don't think we're going to realize how not okay we are until the sun rises and people can't get downtown. if this is still going on, if this is still -- to think of downtown dallas as an active crime scene is -- it's a heavy thing. >> yeah. that is evident, and for all of us who have ever been there, enjoyed the city, we just -- we're grieving for you and wu. what an awful night. and, again, one of the great cities in this country, dallas, texas. hard to believe it's the site of what can only be called urban
warfa warfare tonight. certainly the assassination attempt of uniformed police officers. robert, thank you so much. our condolences to everyone there. and be strong in the days ahead. this story has reached its way around the world obviously. our white house correspondent ron allen is traveling with president obama, and the president perhaps, for those of you who saw his remarks, has landed in warsaw, poland, for a nato summit. ron, i understand, though, it's a long day of travel for the president, for all of you. not only had he been briefed on the deaths of philando castile and alton sterling on his way over, resulting in his remarks, he's now up to speed on what has happened in dallas. >> reporter: yes, brian. and the white house has offered its full support to the dallas p.d., the dallas community.
anything they can do. as a practical matter, that would mean the fbi, the atf, and other federal law enforcement agencies would step up, which is of course is to be expected. but i think also that given the president's remarks last night and given his perhaps somewhat, at times, uneasy relationship with law enforcement around the country and his obvious concern about these police shootings that have happened and his obvious support at times for peaceful protests, i think what law enforcement around the country is going to want to hear from the president is a very heartfelt public statement of support and concern. in his remarks yesterday about the shootings, the president was clearly anticipating the push-back for saying what he was saying about the racial disparities in the criminal justice system and the need for law enforcement to do better, for change to come faster, for there to be a greater sense of urgency. he talked about how he has received letters from law
enforcement around the country following protests, asking why are we under attack and essentially asking for his support. and the president made clear, tried to make clear certainly, that he supports law enforcement. he recognizes the tough job they have to do, the dangerous job they have to do, that they have a right as individuals to go home to their families at night, that they need support with equipment, that collective bargains rights, so on and so forth. but of course there's also still this push-back from law enforcement who have questioned the president's commitment to them. so given these horrific events, and of course no one has made the connection, you can anticipate some of the criticism that's going to come at the president given the timing of all this. and there's obviously no direct connection that's been drawn between the events of that horrific night in dallas and the president's comments. but i wouldn't be surprised if you hear some of that coming from certain quarters of the
american public square, if you will. so we expect to hear from the president in about two hours. he was scheduled to make remarks following a meeting that he was having with the leaders of the eu. of course the issue there being brexit and security concerns, isis, nato's position avisail -- vis-a-vis russia. we don't know exactly what the president is going to say. we don't know if he is going to address dallas specifically, but i would certainly expect that he would. clearly this is something the president feels deeply, passionately about. he is obviously concerned about the shootings that have happened, and he's also been very concerned and said so about law enforcement, the toll that this has taken on law enforcement and how america, all of america, needs to support law enforcement, not just -- he said
that not just in the past but i would say that i expect going forward. also, the president framed this entire issue, the protests, the attacks on law enforcement, the concern about violence in america, gun control, gun safety, as he would put it -- he has tried to frame all of this as an american issue, something that all americans regardless of their hue should be concerned about as individuals, as part of american society. and the president has warned and expressed frustration with how after incidents happened around the country, that we tend to retreat to our own quarters and carry out the same almost rehearsed arguments about what has happened from well-known positions, and there's no movement forward. and the hope has always been from the white house and from many others, of course, in america that we as a community of people could move forward.
will dallas do ha? did newtown do that? orlando? it hasn't happened yet, but i expect that the president would express that hope as well, that this incident would help us as a country to move forward, to have a discussion about these issues that's constructive, that speaks to our common humanity, our common values. you know, everyone, i think, recognizes what police officers do out there. this incident in dallas certainly drives home the danger of it, how horrific night it's been there that five law enforcement officers would be gunned down, assassinated in what looked like a planned ambush from rooftops, from garages. it just sounds horrific. so, again, i expect the president sometime in the next couple of hours to make a very heartfelt statement about what has happened. he yesterday talked about how he has, in front of the capitol building, mourned with families who have lost officers in the line of duty, how he has hugged them and felt their pain just as
he has felt the pain of others in the community of america who have dealt with loss. but clearly we expect the president to step forward at this moment and bring the nation together, try to bring the nation together. and of course in the short term and the long term, for that matter, focus on dallas, focus on the community, focus on what law enforcement there needs to figure out what happened, to deal with the pain, the wounded, the families who are going to be burying loved ones. i'm sure the president will address all these issues. i would certainly think he would address all these issues in a very healthfelt and determined manner. >> ron allen traveling with the president in warsaw, poland. as ron points out, we'll probably be hearing from the president within the next two hours. while ron was talking, our nbc station in dallas-fort worth, kxas, is reporting that the suspect in question, last heard
from on the parking garage, has been neutralized. thus, we hope we are able to report the situation has been neutralized. knowing something about what the dallas police department saw as the threat tonight, we can guess that there won't be the sounding of an all-clear for the central business district in dallas because of the threat of explosives. part of this had been the gunmen telling police that he had placed explosives in the parking garage elsewhere in dallas. we have no confirmation that any device has been found. one suspicious device was talked about earlier tonight, but kxas, our television station in dallas, is reporting that the
threat has been neutralized. we assume that means the death -- chris jansing is here with us in the studio -- the death of this suspect. >> and we saw at that press conference, the dallas police chief, david brown, who said at the time, after taking just a few questions, that he was going to do what has to be one of the toughest jobs that any leader in law enforcement has to do, which he was going to go look at a series of tactical pockets that his staff was putting together for him, to neutralize this ongoing and dangerous situation as police have what they believed was the final suspect in the el centro garage there. and, again, with the overhanging weight of the threat that had
been given to them, saying that the suspect told police there are bombs all over this place, in the garage and downtown. and so the fbi was on-scene. the atf on-scene, canvassing for explosives. and as you pointed out, brian, that suspicious package was found, and they had the dallas police bomb squad in there. and you can just imagine as this collective sigh of relief perhaps is going through the police officers who have gathered there on-scene, and we've talked about the heroism of what we have seen from them throughout tonight. some of them running toward the bullets, some of them with weapons that were not matching what we saw from the gunman, who we're tryi were trying to take them out and keep the people who were running down the streets of dallas safe. we do not expect, by the way, as we've said, any more press conferences tonight. police continuing to update
through social media. but clearly this continues to be one of the worst days in history for dallas and, of course, for this country with echos of another horrible day in our history, of course, and that was the shooting at deally plaza, brian. >> cal perry is with us here in the studio in new york. before we go to cal for an update on what he's learned, i'm wondering if we can go to the live coverage from kxas of the station that has just reported the suspect has been neutralized. this is what the folks in dallas fort worth are watching and listening to. let's listen to a little bit of their live coverage from dallas. >> -- the situations that they're in, the risk is a little bit less typically. but in this situation, they were all doing the same thing. >> well, they all strap a gun on and put on body armor every morning. they put that uniform on and pin that badge on every day.
and the risk is something that you don't even think about when you get dressed and go to work every day. and there's just no way to quantify it. >> yeah. now, we are not expecting the police chief or the mayor to provide us information through a press conference. but we are monitoring every social media outlet that the dallas police department operates as well as the association. we know this is now the way that they will inform us throughout the morning hours and as we head into friday morning and people get up in the morning. they get ready to go to work. you are encouraged, if you do work in downtown, in this area, you're encouraged to visit dallascitynews.net because right now authorities are creating a map of the crime -- >> that is just some of the coverage on kxas, dallas-fort
worth. i was just handed a copy of the lead all article, page one for tonight's web edition and tomorrow's print edition of "the new york times". the irony of the headline gets to you when you read it. five dallas officers killed at protest against police shootings. cal perry, just as the anchors in dallas were saying, there's not a police officer in this country who goes to work in the morning saying, today i am -- i'm told we should go back to kxas. >> towards deally plaza of el centro college. looming large in the distance behind us, you can see the lights coming from the parking garage. that is where we understand dallas police had focused their attention for several hours tonight, where they believe that that suspect may have been in
the immediate aftermath of this shooting that played out late last night. what we can tell you is this. we have multiple sources who are telling us the situation may be over, that the suspect has been neutralized, the words that we're hearing. what i can tell you from here, out on the street are context clues that are helpful in letting us see that perhaps, in fact, the danger may have passed. what i can tell you about that is this. there are some police officers who we can't really show you from our angle here. but i can look at. they returned to their vehicles. one has put his shoulder-mounted rifle back into his car. we had seen some ambulances drive away from the scene here. no lights and sirens. it seems believable they would only leave once they felt there was no more need for them to be here. we don't expect any official confirmation until we see the police chief or mayor step in front of a microphone at dallas headquarters. what we are seeing here, signs
seem to indicate that this threat or the idea of a threat has at the very least stepped down, if not been removed. >> there you have it. just as our viewers in dallas saw that live report, so we were able to as well. and it still remains unbelievable that so many of us that were talking about deally plaza in dallas, texas. we're talking about folks who walked through deally plaza as part of this peaceful protest tonight. and the reporter accurately was talking about context clues, ways that you can just tell a situation has turned or changed. first of all, the fact that he is able -- we're able to have a camera looking up at that parking garage, the subject of so much attention and speculation tonight. so much gunfire both outgoing and incoming. cal perry, before that live
update, i was saying there's not a police officer in this country who heads off to work in the morning saying, today i'm going to be involved in a gun battle. just as we always try to point out, most officers retire after a career having never fired their service weapon. there's never been an officer who has headed off to work saying, today i'm going to fire my service weapon. this is a job where the risk is inherent. it's part of what you sign up for. to be targeted like this in a major metropolitan area, a day when your line of work is in the news for two police involved shooting in social media. just an unbelievable collection of events. >> i don't think anyone ever imagines they're going to have to deal with a complex attack with triangulated sniper fire that seemed to have been targeted at the end of the route of a demonstration that the
police were working hand in hand with organizers of the demonstration. the scene in dallas is certainly relaxing. we're taking our clues and our kw cues from the s.w.a.t. team which is now packing up their gear, having neutralized that suspect. unclear whether they neutralized him. there are some reports that maybe he took his own life. we are not independently confirming that yet. we are working to independently confirm that. but certainly this morning in dallas, the continued concern is of these potentially unexploded devices. we use the phrase "abundance of caution." i think this morning we're going to be using the phrase "necessary caution." i think police are going to be going around and just double and triple-checking everything in this downtown area. >> there is one of the structures in question. these pictures we've been running all night, it is easy to gloss over the fact that there is an officer in the prone
position, on his stomach next to that police cruiser at the center of this picture. it was one of the first shocking images we saw tonight. listening to radio accounts when this story was first developing this evening, while driving in my car, hearing an eyewitness talk about a single police cruisers with a single round through the fender, talking about a police cruiser that came around a corner and bottomed out and sparked throughout the intersection. it was a shocking idea that something was under way in the middle of this peaceful protest in dallas, texas. it only got worse from there. chris jansing, the death toll jumped from four to five in about the last hour. 11 has been the number of police officers wounded. i think it's going to take a long time to figure out how many civilians were hurt and have
sought treatment or not sought treatment in the effort to just get out of there and follow police instructions. >> we did see, brian, the one woman who had just come from the hospital, where she said her sister, who had gone to the protest with her fourteen age sons, was running away from the sound of gunfire and was shot in the calf and was going to undergo surgery. and she came out clearly shaken, understandably shaken. that mother, who had thrown herself over her 15-year-old son when she first heard those shots fired, and then got up to run when she was shot. and it's impossible not to think, brian -- and you and i, in our line of work, who spend so much time with the officers who guard our country, guard our city streets every single day, that their wives and their children and their mothers and their fathers and they, themselves, are not going to wake up this morning, put on that uniform, and go to work on city streets and towns all
across this country and not think about what happened and have that fear. and when you talk to the loved ones of police officers and that fear that is always there, even if it's below the surface, it's going to come very much to the forefront this morning, reminding all of us what they do for us every day, putting themselves in the line of danger, in the line of fire. and horribly and so sadly, tragically last night, five of them gave their lives. >> it was an unhinged feeling that a lot of people had earlier tonight when we learned just how bad this was, when this was still an uncontrolled event. suspects were at large. there was the possibility -- still exists -- of explosives throughout the central business district in dallas, texas. as you look at one of the emergency rooms that took in the
wounded and the dead sadly tonight. americans are not strangers to that unhinged feeling. you could argue that in the post-world war ii era, the first day we ever felt that as a nation was in november of '63 in, of all places, dallas, texas, blacks from where theock pictures were taken. you could argue that big mega events, a terrorist event like 9/11, was one of those days in this country where you grab a hold of something and hope for the best. but tonight was a unique feeling, one we would hope never to repeat. we're joined on the telephone by congresswoman eddie bernice johnson, who represents the 30th district of texas, including parts of the sticity of dallas. congresswoman, first of all,
your thoughts. >> yes. that is my district. i live not too far from there. >> your thoughts for your city and, do you have any information that we perhaps have not been given yet from the mayor or the police chief? >> well, i have spoken to the police chief and the only thing that i do know, the mayor, the county judge, the police chief were together when they called me. i'm not sure i have any additional information than what i have heard about the fifth policeman dying. and ten policemen were struck, and several went to surgery. it is unusual for our city, and i guess -- and it's really not too far from where president
kennedy was assassinated many years ago, over 50 years ago. and it's disturbing. it's very disturbing because we really do have, i think, a very good police department. we're not perfect, but for the most part, the sensitivity to people, the friendliness, and the responsibility that they've shown 99% of the time has not been with the kind of incidences that have happened in many other cities though we've had some. >> congresswoman, i was just going to say beyond the sadness we all feel for you, these families, the loss of life, this urban combat we've witnessed throughout my adult life, the entire time i've been on this planet, the city of dallas has been working so hard to recover from its association with gun violence. and what a terrible tragedy that
this will bring back that feeling. >> i agree with you. it is a very sad time. my staff has been in the office wondering what we can do, not knowing anything that we can do but pray and think of the people who have been affected. and we will probably -- you know, i was living in dallas when the assassination occurred. and it does bring back a lot of those feelings. i was a lot younger, of course, but this is not good for any city and certainly not good for our city. it does not reflect the efforts that have been put forth to try to repair the reputation. but we'll just have to continue. >> congresswoman, it's chris
jansing. again, thank you for calling in, and our sympathies to the city of dallas, to you, to everyone who is there. but you have been around politics for a very long time, 12 terms in congress. former chair of the congressional black caucus. we don't know what motivated this although the timing, of course, coming in these protests, in the aftermath of these protests of the shootings in minnesota and louisiana. help us to put this in some sort of context as you see it, as a long-serving member of congress and what you think the conversation needs to be going forward, congresswoman. >> well, obviously we need to have a great deal more conversation. there is no way that i could possibly think it's not related to what is going on with the fear that many people have for police throughout the country.
and frankly, i think the training has to begin with the academies. i've had hearings all of my career, from the '70s forward on police relationships. it is -- i can't -- i can't fathom that this will continue in this country. we just cannot do it. we must examine the situation more closely. more training. attitudes must change some. the understanding between the peace officers and the citizens just has to come together. we cannot continue to think that each of us are enemies. >> we know that president obama is going to have an opportunity to speak later today from poland, where, as you may know, congresswoman, he is attending
the nato summit. and he made comments after that eight-hour flight about the shootings in louisiana and minnesota, saying we are better than this. do you think it's important for the american people to hear from the president today and what would you like to hear from him? >> i do think it's very important we hear from the president, and i would like to have him make a very positive statement. you know, we're in such a turmoil within congress now, talking about gun violence and doing something about gun violence. i just think it is time for all of us to look at the issue. and there's a number of facets to the issue. but we must address it. we cannot avoid it. >> congresswoman eddie bernice johnson, thank you, congresswoman, very much. as chris said, for calling in and making contact with us. i can -- i can hear in the background you're watching the television coverage as we all
are, all of us in disbelief. we've been joined by another of our correspondents, jacob rascon has reached dallas in what is now the early morning hours here on the east coast. jacob, am i correct? are you a texas native originally, and what has this done to just the feel of being there in the short time you've been able to get there and be on the ground for us? >> reporter: brian, in fact i am. i'm from houston. in fact, that's where i was. we just arrived driving there from here. and we arrived about a half hour ago but couldn't get to this location because of all the roadblocks. and as far as i can see in this direction and in that direction and of course behind me, where it actually happened, you have the dallas police cars. and as far as what it's done, as we were driving, my wife and i, we were checking of course facebook and all of our friends
are up, and they're talking about it, of course. it's just a shock. and to hear it, as you were reporting and others, unravel where we had two officers and then three and then four, and now a fifth, of course, it's just excruciating for the community. and of course the dallas police department, which is well known as being just an outstanding department. the last time that i was here for a story for nbc news was the donald trump rally, and they were -- and i've been all over the country covering the rallies with trump and with the protesters. and the dallas police department was among the most prepared that we have ever seen. and we saw very minimal clashes because they kept the protesters and the supporters, for example, very far from each other. they were congratulated. their response to the protest and to the rally was very well received. they are seen as a very, very outstanding department. of course to have this happen is just excruciating, brian. >> jacob, talk about texas as an
open-carry state for firearms and weapons. tonight briefly when a picture of the wrong suspect was aired around the world, it was a picture of a man wearing a camo t-shirt. but the most notable thing was he had an ar-15 slung over his shoulder at the protest. it turned out to be a different guy who, in fact, according to an eyewitness handed his ar-15 to a police officer, who needed it more than he did. it is not impossible to see a long gun slung over someone's shoulder. it is more common to see a revolver, 9 millimeter, either in a holster or in the back of somebody's pants. but it's just -- it is a daily occurrence in the lone star state. >> reporter: it is. and texas is thought of as one
of those states where a lot of people open carry. in fact, on a day to day basis growing up in houston, i also lived in san antonio and el paso and of course now in dallas for a short time. it's not something that you see regularly. in fact, i can count maybe on both hands the number of times i've ever seen somebody open carry. and, in fact, a lot of people don't know this. that most states in the union have some sort of open carry law, whether for handguns or for rifles. open carry, as far as handguns, in fact, only became legal here in texas this year, as of january 1st. and then of course there are other laws about open carry on certain campuses that go into effect later in the fall. but you're right. it always catches our attention, and even, for example, at this donald trump rally, you had a group of people with their rifles and handguns who showed up, and they're part of a group. and many groups that are like this who show up to exercise that right simply to do it, to show they can do it, that it is
legal. it always catches the attention of the dallas police. you had, for example, at this donald trump rally, you had some of the detectives who stayed within eyesight always of this group of five or six men who had their rifles and handguns open carrying. and it no doubt raised some eyebrows to see that gentleman here with that rifle that he was carrying, and it is not surprising that he would be confused for one of the gunmen or suspects involved. it now appears that that was mistaken. brian. >> jacob, as you talk, we're looking on the other side of the screen as a live picture, a parking garage in the background. there's a mobile police command unit on the far right. there is an armored vehicle on the right-hand side of the screen, and it's just in microcosm what dallas has become. i'm also thinking about the fact that you've probably got the entire available ft. worth p.d.
there. you've probably got sheriffs from as far around as could get there. >> reporter: right. >> and now they've got to talk about things like platooning their available officers. when you've suffered this big a mass casualty event, this is going to stagger the department. the transit police, d.a.r.t. is going to be equally staggered by this, having lost an officer tonight. they've got a city to defend. they've got explosives to look for, an investigation to launch. and brothers, colleagues, to bury. it's just going to be unbelievable for them. >> reporter: and i said, brian, as we arrived, that it took me a half hour to get here. i should have been more specific to say that it took a half hour to go only a half of a mile. and so downtown dallas, a lot of it, is on lockdown. and as is always the case with mass casualty events, of course then they have to stagger, as
you mentioned, the other police work that they always have to do on a very busy large city like dallas. another thing that you've been reporting and we've been talking about a lot is how the officers appear, for example, when they come into these protests. it's been a big argument, of course, around the country as i've gone to different protests during the campaign to see how different departments respond as far as whether they show up in their riot gear, whether they have their batons, their shields, and their helmets. and it's very split. you see, for example, in san jose that there were no officers during that rally with the protesters that were visible with any of their riot gear on. but then again, you had in arizona, for example, you had always a group of officers that were always in their gear, their riot gear. so it's back and forth, and even in dallas when they had the rally here, you had some who were ready in riot gear, but they weren't visible. and as we saw in the pictures of
these protests and that, of course, happened right along this road. you had hundreds and hundreds -- by some accounts, you had as many as a thousand people protesting, walking down these streets. and you had no officers that i was able to see in any of the video or pictures that had their shields or their batons out at the ready. in fact, you had some officers who were posing with pictures with some of the protesters. it was very peaceful. of course, that all changed after the ambush. >> jacob, we've been talking about that very dynamic, that that was kind of what folks wanted from police departments post-ferguson was a friendlier stance. these police officers in dallas tonight were taking a very standoffish, friendly stance toward this peaceful protest. they were in their summer service uniforms. most of them short-sleeved. some of them in shorts.
most of them not wearing any kind of riot gear. some wearing bulletproof vests as they would underneath their short-sleeve shirts. others seen putting on kevlar as the shooting started. just an unbelievable turn of events. jacob rascon, who will be among our team on the ground in his home state in the city of dallas, texas, reporting this story. as jacob spoke, we could see tower ladder 10 of the dallas fire department in the background. that reminds us that first responders take all forms. and among those responding tonight, firefighters. sometimes their hardware has been used as just a shield, a big piece of impenetrable metal if they need it. and because fire has been used as a weapon in terrorism and
domestic terrorism. and because fires can break out during this kind of thing. the dallas fire department has been out and part of this tonight. cal perry here in our new york studios. cal, jacob was talking about that very dynamic that you mentioned earlier this evening. the fact that police departments having relaxed their appearance in a lot of urban events are probably going to have to go right back to the kind of militaristic garb and the mill tar isz tick stance they had before ferguson. >> i think so many police departments across the country felt that it was necessary to relax their posture tonight as people took to the streets to protest the recent violence in the past 48 hours of police shootings both in minnesota. so i think that went into the discussion. the other thing that we need to
throw into this discussion, i think people are getting an idea that this was somehow some kind of a sanitized attack with snipers. it's becoming more and more clear, and there is a treasure trove of video for police to now go through. every protest you go to now, people are holding up cell phones, and all of that cell phone video is now being processed by the dallas police department. one of the videos that is out there shows a gunman going around the back of a police line and just spraying an officer in the back with automatic gunfire from a rifle. it is horrific. it is violent. that is why we are not showing it. but this at one stage appeared to be a ground-level street to street combat in downtown dallas. >> and we're also going to see surveillance cameras on every floor of that parking garage at several different locations and throughout dallas, wherever they suspect these suspects were. we have a few minutes here before the top of the hour.
we want to get resituated with white house correspondent ron allen traveling with the president, which tonight means warsaw, poland, the morning of a new day and the nato summit, which had loomed so large and seemed so important before domestic news really took over the president's agenda. ron? >> reporter: well, yeah, you're right, brian. and it is still important on a number of levels. but clearly this will dominate the president's morning. it has dominated so far. we understand he's being regularly briefed on what's going on, and we expect to hear from the president about 5:00 a.m. eastern or so, so in less than a couple of hours' time. we expect the president to continue to say that he -- the federal government, the white house offers all available support to the dallas community, to the dallas police at this time.
we expect the president to make a very heartfelt statement of support for law enforcement generally around the country, particularly at this time. you remember his remarks last night when he arrived here in warsaw. he took the very unusual step of essentially getting off a plane around midnight and talking about the shooting incidents in baton rouge and in minnesota that have so captivated and troubled the nation. striking in the president's comments about that, how he clearly was troubled by what's happened and not just these two incidents but the pattern that was happened in recent years in the united states. but the president was also very mindful of the pushback he was going to get from law enforcement because as you well know, he has been often criticized for not supporting law enforcement enough throughout the country. just to follow on something else someone was just saying also, you'll recall that the white house about a year or so ago, after ferguson, the president essentially issued a directive
trying to get law enforcement around the country to essentially deescalate the level of weaponry that they have. many departments around the country have received essentially surplus army equipment in the days since 9/11 when law enforcement around the country became the front line in the war against terrorism. there's been a lot of concern about whether local police departments had too much weaponry. you'll remember those scenes in ferguson and elsewhere, especially in ferguson after the protests there, following the killing of michael brown. the picture of a police officer in essentially a turret of an armored vehicle trained on protesters that really generated a lot of concern about what it is that law enforcement has. and, of course, they have pushed back saying that we need this stuff. and after what's happened in dallas, you will certainly hear probably from law enforcement around the country essentially
saying, yes, we need heavy weaponry because that's what we're encounter on the streets. someone was just describing this video we're not showing that shows someone opening fire from close range on a police officer or several police officers with an automatic weapon. and you can hear in that video, it's unclear exactly which side is firing. but clearly there's a lot of weaponry, a lot of fire power on the streets of dallas, on the streets of america. and obviously that too has been a big concern of the obama administration. the president trying to push for what he calls common sense gun safety legislation, and essentially the administration is at its wit's end in terms of what it expects congress to do and in terms of what the president can do through his executive authority. so clearly this horrific situation brings together a lot of issues that have been on the white house agenda. we again expect to hear from the president around 5:00 a.m. eastern or so. that has not been confirmed, but that's the expectation.
there's a time when he was expected -- >> ron, we've got to wrap things up for this hour. chris jansing will continue our for this hour. chris jansing will continue our coverage at the top of the hour. >> brian williams, thank you so much. it's been a devastating night in dallas, and that is the phrase that was used by dallas police as they announced the death of the fifth officer tonight in what has been a long and horrible and deadly night on the streets of dallas, following protests similar to the ones we've seen across the country in the wake of two recent shootings by police officers. we don't know in any way what the motive is, or if this is related, but for this country and for dallas, this has been a horrifying night. here's what we know. in an overnight briefing, dallas police said there are at least fo