tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 8, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PDT
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 four suspects. they had three in custody.
there was a stand-off at the el centro garage with the final suspect ask that has now been neutralized. that situation has been neutralized. we will not know the details of that, i don't expect unless the police decide to post something on social media. they did not expect to hold another press conference tonight. they occurred at that protest rally which drew a sizeable crowd, over the recent shooting of black men in baton rouge and minnesota. dallas police chief david brown said that he was going to be given a set of tactical possibilities about what to do about the stand-off. they were particularly concerned because the suspect in the garage told police there are bombs all over this place, in the garage and downtown. and now that situation again has been neutralized. the fbi is on scene along with police and sheriffs, the atf,
all of them looking around in what has been an ever-widening crime scene. the mayor, who was also at that press conference suggesting that a large section of downtown would be shut down, would continue to be the scene of a police investigation. and so many people will not be going to work in dallas. at one point, a suspicious package was found. it was examined by the dallas police bomb squad, and at one point, folks who were there on the scene, reporters on the scene, talked about an explosion, what sounded like a grenade in just the last few hours. this was a very tense and intensive night for police who are being very careful with the tactics that they used, obviously not wanting to put anyone in harm's way. we do believe that at least one civilian is among those who was shot. we heard from a woman who told
local reporters, her sister had gone to this protest with her four teenage sons and they heard the shots ring out. that mother went to shield one of her sons and while running from the gunshot was hit in the calf and she has gone into surgery. there are also police officers who are in surgery right now. here's some sound from some witnesses who were there in dallas tonight. >> when we was making our round down main street, and back down to the red brick house, we were making our second string, or second lap. as we were going toward like the center, towards el centro, we heard shots, and we heard -- we smelled gun powder. and that's when everything got really, really intense, and really, really surreal. as you heard gunfire, you could
hear people, like, you heard a dog fight. and no one could know what was going on. we just started to run and grab kids and help their mothers get to somewhere safe, because we didn't want anyone to get hurt. >> so what's the dilemma that you're in right now on the street corner? >> i'm just trying to get home so i don't get hurt like somebody else. >> this has been an emotional night. >> that's it. i'm tired of waking up every morning and seeing the same thing over and over and over again and no one has any answers. so we take to the streets and we say, all right, don't shoot, and the same thing happens nonetheless. >> and so we hear from one man who echoes the feelings of so many across the country who took to the streets of their cities, including here in new york yesterday. but in the meantime, this is the scene that we are seeing and you can just imagine, for the people who were there, who had been at
a largely peaceful protest, who are in a city where the police force is held in high regard, jacob rascon is on the scene as he has been for us, and i understand, jacob, you have some folks there who sheltered when they heard those shots ring out. >> so what we're seeing now is people who have been sheltered since the protest and since the shots rang out, who are now finally able to come out and leave. among those the jackson family. you're telling me you were not here specifically for the protest, you were doing something else. you saw the protest on facebook and it happened to be right outside. you joined up with it, and after about an hour, then the shots rang out. start from there. >> we parked our car and i noticed all the protesters and i decided to join, brought my cameras with me, and decided i
wanted to get some images and video for it. everything was going peaceful for the entire process. they all met at the old red museum. the organizers, after they gave their speech, they said, you can go about your way, everyone file to the left, kind of have a good night. >> these are the organizers of the protest, they said, okay, it's done, time to go home, correct? >> yes. >> and after that? >> we followed the direction they wanted us to go, because there was a police presence. they were blocking the traffic so we had an actual way to go out. about 30 seconds after we left the area around the old red courthouse, we were coming around the corner and we heard one shot and the crowd just dissipated. there was screaming, there was running, there was police cars screaming through. we really weren't sure exactly what was happening. i thought that maybe a car had gotten out of control. because with the screaming, i couldn't hear any more gun shots at that point. i got out of the melee, off to
the side and just kind of looked around to see what was happening. >> because you weren't together at the time? >> no. he was shooting at the -- >> his camera. >> i'm sorry. he was taking pictures, photographs at the upper part of the rally near the front and i was toward the back and the side. >> so you immediately thought of each other, you found each other and what did you do then? because it's still chaos at that point. >> she called me and said they're shooting that way. i said, oh, my gosh, let me go run and get her. we tried to go one way, they're un running back the other way. and i grabbed her and said, get in the building now. i saw an employee, and i said, get in here. wanted to protect myself and my wife. >> and that's the building that's right behind us, the greyhound bus station. >> correct. >> and that is ground zero, the
parking garage where they've been negotiating and now it appears the threat is neutralized is right behind it. >> correct. >> so what are you doing for the last six, seven hours? >> making lots of new friends. >> so other people inside sheltering with you? >> yes. there were five or six other people in the specific room where we were in. but 50 to 100 people in the greyhound bus station because people are arriving, and they don't know what's going on. their buses are coming in and they have a schedule. the people we were in the room with mentioned they were hearing the shots and they had to get down right before we were able to walk in. it was a little bit challenging when we went in there. it was a little bit scary. >> so what is the attitude in there? have all the people left? why did you decide to come out? >> for one, my car is still here. and i figured might as well go to the om nee for the night. it was terrifying. i don't get afraid often, but to think about someone coming in
the room to shoot up the room, it's terrifying. most people in there are frustrated, they want to go home. they had a guy with insulin shots in his car, had to plead with a police officer to go to his car to get his insulin shot. people just frustrated. >> you really took us there. because if you know exactly what's happening, maybe it would be less terrifying, but you don't know if there's still somebody out there with a gun who's going to come in. >> is that part of the thinking inside? >> yeah. >> we didn't know. we were getting updates on our phones through facebook, social media of all kinds, our family and friends telling us, this is what's happening. there was a tv in the bus station, but they wanted us to stay away from the outer areas, because we weren't sure which direction it was coming from. so we were getting updates, this is it what's happening, this is how many people are injured, this is what's going on. we're in limbo. we don't want to come out, but
we're not really sure if we can. it was a lot of confusion at that point. >> while we were in the room, another employee came through the back door and we were like, oh, my god! because we didn't see the door to begin with. and to hear a stranger walk in the door, we were like, this could be it, but it was just an employee. >> the jackson family, thanks so much for your time. have a safe night. >> thank you. >> again, is there anybody still inside? >> yeah, they're going to evacuate. they're shutting the building down. >> they're putting people on the bus to take them to the westmoreland station. >> again, thank you for your time. you have a mostly evacuated bus station. people who have been there for six, seven hours, now finally able to go home. chris? >> jacob, thank you so much. just a real reminder of how many people have been directly affected by this. the horror and the chaos that they were facing, not knowing exactly what was going on for so many hours. huddled in that bus station.
so worried about who was out there, what might still happen, and we should put this all into context, because this was essentially a targeting of police. it was an assassination. the snipers fired from elevated positions on police officers just minutes before 9:00 dallas time. and according to the police chief at that briefing earlier tonight, he described the shootings as ambush style, and in fact, ambush is the cover of the local newspaper this morning, it's the front page. chief david brown said, we believe these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches in garages in the downtown area. they believe the plan was to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could, and the one surviving -- the one person who was still
there in that garage, the last person who had not been taken into custody said as much to police on the scene. in the meantime, president obama, who is in warsaw, poland, arriving after an eight-hour flight from washington for the nato summit, stepped off that plane and very unusually at about 1:00 in the morning local time in poland made a statement, not about this, because this happened afterwards, but about what was the topic of the protest that was happening in dallas and elsewhere. and that is the shooting of two black men by police officers near st. paul and in baton rouge, louisiana. this is what the president said several hours ago. >> there's a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their
skin, they are not being treated the same. and that hurts. and that should trouble all of us. this is not just a black issue. it's not just a hispanic issue. this is an american issue. >> and the president also saying, we are better than this. nbc's ron allen, traveling with president obama in warsaw, poland, for the nato summit. ron, i know the president has been briefed on the shooting. who is traveling with him today? >> reporter: well, for the most part, chris, it's his national security team, because this is a nato summit and these are issues of global security, relations with russia. these are foreign policy matters, brexit of course will be an issue. the president is expected to make remarks in about an hour or so, following a meeting with
leaders from the eu about brexit and so forth. that's the point in the schedule where there was already a plan for the president to make remarks. that's where we are anticipating that he will say something about dallas, especially because of what he said last night about this issue generally, shootings and so forth. also, we know the president is very mindful of the pushback that he's gotten over the years from law enforcement and from other parts of the american community about things that he has said in support of these protests that were going on. while no one has made the direct connection between his remarks and dallas, clearly that is something that the president may want to speak to. law enforcement, he said, has often contacted him during these protests, or following these protests, asking him why are they under attack. there's something of an uneasy relationship between this president and law enforcement in many areas around the country who feel that he has not been
supportive enough of them. in his comments last night, he anticipated that criticism, he anticipated that pushback, and talked about how, for example, when officers have fallen in the line of duty, that he has mourned with their families, that he has hugged their loved ones. he said the country has to support law enforcement in many ways, by giving them the equipment they need, giving them collective bargaining rights, giving them respect. but the bottom line, there's a huge trust deficit between certain communities of color and law enforcement. the president is very mindful of this. he was trying to address all those issues and as well appeal to the wider american community, to say that this is not an issue where -- this is not a time where it has to be a discussion about one thing or the other, you have to take sides for or against law enforcement, for or against protesters, that we can, as americans, come together on certain -- on these issues in these areas where there's common
ground. how extensive the president's comments will be, we don't know. but given what we know to be the president's deep concern about these mass shootings, the attacks on law enforcement have done to the country, there's every expectation that he will say something about this. again, about an hour or so in that portion of the schedule where we were already expecting to hear from the president on a range of other issues. but clearly now, given what's happened in dallas, and that the president is being briefed and getting updates on it, and that the white house has offered its full support to dallas law enforcement and the community, which could be fbi, federal agencies, atf, as a practical matter of supporting efforts there, we would expect that the president will perhaps want to speak to this directly from the heart about what he feels his reaction to what's happening, which of course is horrific and troubling to all americans and to people around the world. >> he did react -- thank you,
ron allen. and we'll be going back as we can when we hear from the president, but we did see him react with the same kind of horror, all of us did, and so many americans did, when we saw the video of the shooting outside of st. paul, minnesota. and the girlfriend, who was just watching her boyfriend bleed to death and describing what she said was simply him reaching for his license and registration. that prompting on top of the shooting in baton rouge, the protests we saw in several cities across the country. largely peaceful protests, but this is an issue that the white house has been focused on since ferguson. valerie jarrett, one of the president's closest friends and a senior adviser, working very diligently on community policing, working with many members of the community to
address many of the concerns that you just heard from ron allen. so again, coming up at the top of the next hour, we do expect that the president will be making remarks from warsaw, poland. in the meantime, we're going to take a quick break, but we will be back with our live, continuing coverage of the devastating news out of dallas. five officers now killed. we'll be right back. >> i was walking and the sniper just started shooting. man, like all of the cops were getting shot. i just saw cops bending over. it was like five or sirks cops like they was all getting shot down. it was right after the rally, we were just walking to the car, all the cops -- >> how many? >> i saw about three. i saw about three. we was running, like they just kept shooting them. we don't know where it's coming from. but it was every -- i didn't see anybody else get shot. it was just the cops. boost water gel. with hyaluronic acid
>> i'm angry, because i'm disappointed. i'm disappointed in our criminal justice system. i'm disappointed in the killings and the atrocities of innocent young people. it's very, very painful. i'm angry and upset at the killing of innocent police officers who have kids at home who are just trying to do their job. not all police officers are bad. my heart is broken. i love this country and my heart is broken because this is my country. and it has not always lived up to his highest ideals. and this is just another glaring example of the atrocities that our political system doesn't seem to want to wrap its arms around and the people are just in an uproar, and i feel your pain and your anger and your
hostility and i stand in solidarity with you. i'm, i'm shocked. i'm hurt. i put myself in the place of those families who are grieving tonight, and regardless to the color of your skin, pain is pain. losing a child is losing a child. and i think that we should pray for those families and stand in solidarity with them. >> that is t.d. jakes, the pastor of the potters house mega church in dallas, texas, with some 30,000 members expressing what so many people feel, how their hearts are broken after seeing what unfolded in dallas earlier today. five dallas police officers killed, six others wounded by snipers, during a demonstration that was protesting the shootings that he referenced in louisiana and minnesota this week. police believe there were four
suspects who coordinated the attacks. chief david brown a few hours ago at a press conference said they positioned themselves in triangulated locations near the end of the route that the protesters planned to take. one of the things that they're still looking at early this morning is how this was coordinated and whether or not they knew about the planning of this, if they were involved in any way in the planning of this. the fourth suspect who was in a garage in downtown dallas at el centro, which is a community college there, was, as they have put it, neutralized. we don't know exactly what happened, but we do know that he had been threatening, threatening of the police, threatening that there were bombs all around the garage and all around that area in downtown dallas, and was not in any way being cooperative. there was an exchange of gunfire even then after the shooting of those officers, but negotiations
apparently coming to an end in the last hour there in dallas, texas. cal perry has been following all of this for us and has some new information. what are you finding? >> reporter: we're hearing from local officials that at least two unexploded suspicious packages are being dealt with now. we expected this when we heard the police chief talk about threats being made about bombs. and out of an abundance of caution, it's smart to go over them with a fine tooth comb. two of them are being dealt with now. so many horrific images online, some showing police laying dead in the street in downtown dallas. we're starting to see some incredibly moving video. i want to play this from parkland hospital, this is officers saluting those who were killed last night in dallas.
and chris, you have covered so many horrific complex attacks, it's not something that we're used to in this country, and scenes like this, which will remind people of military type funerals, thankfully is not something that we've seen in this country until last night. >> parkland hospital, of course, known to all of us who remember that day, or know anything about that day in 1963 and the moving image of those police officers. and we are so vividly reminded of what was lost there tonight, of what they do every day when they go out into the streets, and the fact that very soon funerals will be starting in dallas, texas, for those who have been lost. we have seen all of this unfold over the last several hours and also heard the stories of heroism of police when this
happened, rushing, of course, toward the scene, many of them armed with guns that were no match for the semi- automatic rifles that seemed to be used by those who were up in that triangulated position that was described by the police chief. there was one civilian who was also wounded, who has gone into surgery with a gunshot wound to her calf. we heard from her sister, who said that she had gone there with her teenage sons, and like so many mothers of young black men across america, who are so concerned about the safety of their children, and who have been the subject of so much political discussion recently, and of course we are in the middle of a heated political contest for president, and it is sure that when the light of day
comes, we will hear from them as well. in the meantime, three other witnesses who were attending the protest last night there in dallas described what they heard and they saw the very moment that the first shots rang out. >> we heard the shots across. >> yeah, we was in the front. and, like, we were marching. and we was supposed to stop. but we had kept going, and then we heard -- we heard shots and everybody just ran. like to the opposite way. >> when we were walking, we felt somebody, like spit on us. >> i thought it was rain. >> we thought it was raining, but somebody was on top of the building spitting on us. we felt the water. now we know what that was. next thing we know, we heard the shots. i saw one of the officers laying down on his stomach. he was not responsive. they rolled him over. i'm sure that's the one that's probably deceased right now.
>> a horrific description, so vivid and so real of what unfolded there in dallas tonight. among those who were killed, obviously dallas pd, we've been talking about that but also an officer from the dallas area rapid transit, dart, the officer lost tonight and brent thompson, 43 years old. he's the first d.a.r.t. officer killed in the line of duty. he joined dart back in 2009. and joining us now is james spiller, the police chief of the dallas area rapid transit. thank you for joining us, and first of all, our sympathies to you and to everyone on the dart force. what can you tell us about brent thompson? >> brent was a great officer, as you said. he's been with us, he came to us from corsicana police department and he's served admirably during
his time here at dart. he was one of our patrol officers in our central business district in downtown dallas, which, on the night in which he was fatally wounded he was downtown performing his patrol duties during a protest march that was taking place. >> can you tell us in general how dart supplements what happens with the dallas pd and what their role is in keeping your city safe? >> well, we supplement in several ways. primarily we focus on dart assets, being our buses, our trains, our train stations. and in this particular situation, our officers were positioned at one of our train stations in the downtown area. we were monitoring the protest march, as well as watching what was happening with our customers that were using our trains and our buses. >> and as we said, this is the first dart officer who was ever
killed in the line of duty. how do you deal with this? how do you help your officers deal with this harsh reality this morning and go out onto those streets again? >> it's extremely tough, with it being the first officer that was killed. i am meeting with all of the officers this morning. i have been to the hospital and met with the families of those that was injured, as well as officer thompson's family. we have officers assigned with them. we have -- we have medical personnel on scene as well as we're engaging our employee assistance program. for those officers that will need assistance and more importantly we're working very closely with the dallas police department and they're working with us also. >> is there anything else you can tell us about officer thompson or his family, other than the fact that they must be completely devastated tonight. >> the entire department is
devastated, as well as our entire agency. it's a horrendous loss for all of us. and as you said, it's the first time that it's happened. i've been in constant contact with his family, as well as all of our officers, our president and ceo, as well as the dallas police department. so it's something, you know, we're gonna get through it, we're gonna make sure we take care of those injured officers, as well as officer thompson's family. you know, we've gotten a lot of well wishes throughout the country, from other police departments, as well as citizens, from all across the united states, sending their sympathies, and we're passing that along and we're grateful to be receiving all of those. >> this obviously was very targeted, as we heard from the police chief and we see on the front page of the dallas morning news. it was an ambush. how do you send your officers
out today? do they do anything differently than they would have otherwise? and how will you do an assessment of what happened overnight? >> well, naturally, we always do an assessment to see what occurred, and we will follow the lead of the dallas police department with that, as well as we take a look internally. because we had a lot of other things that were affected, our buses and our trains have to get back up into service for our customers. so we take a look at that. and for our officers, we look at what occurred. but, you know, the officers were doing exactly what they were trained to do. we've trained for active shooter response, you know, so has dallas, and we've trained together with that. so, you know, unfortunately we had some persons that were injured, as well as killed, but from a training perspective, the training was right on target with what we were trained to do. >> well, again, we saw so many
officers reacting so heroically tonight. i can only imagine what must be going through your mind, chief spiller. personally, can you even describe what this means to see this unfolding in your city? >> well, you know, it's surprising to see something like that happen. dallas is a great city. the north texas region is a great region. to see something happen like this to police officers, it's unimagine ab unimaginable. but thanks to the police department, it's made it somewhat easy for us, although it's still something hard when you talk about the loss of life of anyone. >> well, we are all sending much support to the people of dallas, particularly to the dallas police department and to the
dart officers and of course the families of those who have been lost. chief james spiller, thank you so much for taking the time on what has been such a difficult night for everyone there. thank you so much. and again, our deepest sympathies. >> thank you. and i really appreciate the sympathies and all the well wishes from everyone. >> thank you so much. let's go back on the ground to dallas where jacob rascon is standing by. jacob, what can you tell us? and how has the scene changed over the course of the time that you've been there? >> reporter: what we're seeing now, chris, are the greyhound station behind me, you'll see the blue neon sign. people have been in there for six hours, since the shots rang out, who have been sheltered inside. a lot of them now just coming out. we've been interviewing them as they come out and talk about how frightening it was to be inside, not knowing if there was any gunman, more than one that might have been on the loose and wanted to come into the greyhound station.
and at the time when the shooting was going on, when they were sheltered inside, when they locked themselves inside, they say greyhound buses were still arriving and people would show up coming from houston or elsewhere and not knowing what was going on. there were as many as a hundred people sheltered inside this bus station. after the live shot, we'll see if we can't get any closer. but the night just ending for some of those people. as far as the scene is concerned, the number of officers in police cars has not really changed. in every direction, of course, you see a lot of downtown dallas is on lockdown. when we arrived here, i got within about half a mile and it took me 30 minutes to go the rest of the way because of all the streets on lockdown. it happened right next to the bank of america building. you still have an active bus station, and people showing up and arriving to the scene not knowing what had happened. and still people we have who are going toward the bus station,
whose cars are parked in either some of the parking lots over there, the parking garages, even the parking garage where the latest news happened. of course the suspect who was back and forth with police, we now understand that has ended. so you still have an active scene. you still have, of course, a massive investigation that is just getting started. we know the dallas police has reached out to atf, to the fbi. really, a lot of the investigative work will just get started at this point. >> and we did hear from the police chief as they held that news conference a few hours ago, talking about people checking before they go downtown this morning, because so much of this will be an active crime scene investigation. there will be parts of the city, there will be buildings where people will be told, don't come in, stay home. for people who are not familiar with downtown dallas, help us to set the scene, describe where the area is and what kinds of
buildings are there. the kind of scene we would see on a normal friday morning as people are heading to work. >> sure. so we're on lamar street. and wood street as well. lamar is going to go where you're looking now, the bank of america building. and of course you're going to want to stay away really from anywhere down here. as i said when we arrived within a half mile, it took us 30 minutes to get around all those blocks. it's well advised to not come anywhere near this area. and we would suspect that as the dallas mayor suggested, that some of those who will although who should be coming here in the morning, we think that -- and we think those plans, because this is not going to change for many hours. and as far as -- as far as the activity here, i'm not sure what activity there would be beyond,
of course at 5, 6, 7:00, usually having a lot of people coming in. you can only imagine there will be many, many people who haven't checked their phones or haven't turned on the news who will be shocked to find that there is a massive investigation that has locked down much of downtown dallas, and will then have to learn the tragedy of what happened. so as the dallas mayor advised, you know, if you have plans to come in this morning, if you're just waking up perhaps, you want to rethink, because even though i'm able to walk, for example, down to the greyhound bus station for now, and even though a lot of the roads around here are partially opened, it's nearly impossible to get where you want to go even a half mile in less than 30 minutes. because of the partial shutdowns that we have. chris? >> jacob rascon, who is there on the scene in dallas. we are going to take a quick break with a reminder that we're
expecting to hear from president obama from poland sometime after the top of the hour. we'll be back with our continuing live coverage on msnbc. >> we heard the shots across. >> yeah, we was in the front and like we were marching and we was supposed to stop. but we had kept going. we heard -- we heard shots and everybody just ran, like to the opposite way. >> when we were walking, we felt somebody spit on us. >> i thought it was rain. >> we thought it was rain, but somebody was on the top of the building spitting on us. we felt the water. now we know what that it was. then we heard the shots. i saw one of the officers down on his stomach. they rolled him over. and i'm sure that's the one that's probably deceased right now. oh my goodness! happy birthday! oh, you. (laughing) oh! oh!
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police were the targets. snipers firing from elevated positions, and then you heard them answering with more gunfire. our research shows that there have been in the history of the dallas police department 80 police officers who have died in the line of duty. 43 by gunfire. that number of of course rising to 85 after tonight and other police officers still in surgery. kcal perry has been following this for us. cal, even though the fourth suspect after the three were taken into custody, the fourth suspect has been neutralized. this is still an active crime scene on the streets of dallas. what can you tell us about what's going on there is th? >> we're just hearing from dallas police that they're carrying out extensive sweeps for any possible bombs. you'll remember that the gunman who was holed up in that parking garage said to police that he had laid bombs around the city. we expect that will go on for
the next few hours. one other thing that we're seeing, one of the reasons that they're carrying this out, we're seeing some of the shooters wearing tactical armored vests. we'll have to see if that turns out to be true, but that's keeping dallas police on high alert and this is an ongoing situation in the city of dallas. >> fbi and atf being called to the scene after the quote being from the final suspect, there are bombs all over this place, in the garage and downtown. and saying that there were more police officers who -- that he expected to die. so during the aftermath of this and those ongoing negotiations with that fourth suspect, chief brown said that they were obviously being very careful with everything. there have been a number of suspicious packages that were found. there was at least one explosion that was heard. so with much of downtown a crime
scene, they're being very careful, going around that area which includes the el centro community college, and making sure that the streets are safe there. and, cal, i know you have been following what's been going on, on social media, what reports you're seeing online. one of the reports, we have to be very careful here, because we know that in the heat of what is actually unfolding, we sometimes hear things that get reported that turn out not to be true. one being that the fourth suspect had essentially killed himself. but what else are you seeing online and what kind of reaction are you seeing from across the country, cal? >> one of the things, and as we talk about these potential bombs. of course when people run, they drop their bags, that is something that the police are going to have to deal with. there's a lot of bags that have been left in downtown dallas. one of the things we've been talking about throughout the morning, and we're not showing this video, but it speaks to the very dramatic, the very
emotional press conference that the police chief in dallas gave. we're seeing video of a gunman on street level coming behind the police lines and basically spraying a police officer with automatic gunfire. it's incredibly violent. it's very difficult to watch, but it gives you an idea of why dallas police are using terms like ambush, why they're using descriptions of police being shot in the back. this was a prolonged gun battle in downtown dallas, and police are going to be poring over this video. chris, you've covered these protests now for longer than just about anybody, and you know, right, we're now in a time where everybody is taking video on their cell phones. and this is going to be something that will be unpacked by the dallas police. they're going to be going after as much cell phone video as they can. just by the nature of this attack, this complex attack, we know that there was a certain amount of training that was involved, and there was certainly a lot of planning that was involved. so by no means should we think
this is over, that searching for suspects is over. police are going to want to know who supported this, if anyone was able to support this, how they knew where the march was going to go. and keep in mind, dallas police were coordinating their movements with some protest leaders. so in the coming days, there's going to be a prolonged and widening investigation. and as you mentioned, with a variety of government agencies now getting involved. >> cal perry, thank you. and part of that involvement also is involved with those two shootings that were the subject of those protests, that we saw largely peaceful across the united states. we heard president obama stepping off the plane in warsaw, poland, saying that when incidents like this occur, speaking of those shootings, there's a big chunk of our citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same and that hurts. we've seen the president get emotional before in the aftermath of some of these police-involved shootings. and now police as the targets.
now let's go back to poland where ron allen is traveling with the president. this is a nato summit, we'll remind people, and the president often has scheduled in his official schedule, times when he is going to be able to be seen. we call them pool sprays, when the members of the media are able to go in and take pictures of the president. there are other things that are scheduled where he is going to speak. what dcan you tell us about the president's schedule today? >> well, chris, that moment that you're talking about is supposed to happen at about 5:00 a.m. eastern time. so very shortly. and the white house has given a number of indications suggesting that the president will speak about the issues, about dallas during that moment. it's a time in the schedule when he is meeting with the leaders of the european commission, the european union, the obvious issue there, brexit, the british decision to leave that union.
but given what's happened in dallas and given the president's concern about all this, we expect to hear from him about dallas. you're right that he has talked a lot about and as recently as early this morning, last night, about his concern about racial disparities in the criminal justice system generally. not just police treatment of suspects on the street, but sentencing, incarceration terms, and he spelled out in very plain detail yesterday some of the statistical discrepancies in terms of the number of stops, the number of the arrests, so on and so forth. but the president also spoke out forcefully in support of law enforcement in his remarks yesterday. and that was not by accident. the president is very aware of the pushback he's gotten over the years from law enforcement who have complained that he's not been even-handed in his view of the protests that have been happening out there. law enforcement has acknowledged that they feel under attack,
that not enough attention is being paid when an officer falls in the line of duty, generally by the country and by the white house in particular. and the president pointed out that on a number of occasions, he's grieved with families who have lost loved ones who were police officers. that he's hugged them, felt their pain and that he has a lot of respect and admiration for what police officers do on the streets every day, how difficult and dangerous their jobs are, how they need to be supported in every day with the proper equipment and training and support in a number of ways, and how he also feels, on the other hand, that in fact, there is still a need for better training for law enforcement to act more even handedly and he said last night that he feels there should be greater urgency and more progress on those areas. so this is a very sensitive issue that the president has walked a fine line on, because
clearly he feels passionately about the racial biases that he sees in the criminal justice system and in policing in america, at the same time he feels the difficulty and he feels how dangerous and how tough it is to be a police officer on these streets. he also went on to say that police officers shouldn't be asked to solve all the ills of society. we know in some of these communities there is a higher crime rate, poorer schools, less opportunity, there are not jobs and all those socio-economic issues also, must be brought to bear to explain why there are police-involved shootings in these communities, and the president made clear that police officers can't be expected to solve all those problems as well. so, again, we expect to hear from the president shortly, how far he will go, what he will say, we're not sure. but clearly given what's happen and the magnitude of what's happened in dallas, we'll expect
the president to have something to say about that. >> ron allen with the president on the ground in poland. we'll have that for you when it happens. i want to bring in robert from the dallas morning news. you responded to the scene. you left your home, left your family. i expect, having seen this president in the aftermath of far too many shootings, that he will make some big picture comments about what this means for us as a society, what this means for the city of dallas. can you wrap your head around that sort of big picture thought? >> i can't. i'm trying to -- i'll be honest with you, it's late and i'm tired, but from the moment this occurred, i have not been able to stop. every time i talk about it for more than two or three seconds, i start to well up. i can't even wrap my head around what it means for my city. this happened literally out the front door of the office in which i am currently sitting. at my very window i can see police cars at this very moment.
i was born and raised here. this is something unfathomable to me. i'm having a hard time just even trying to understand what it means, how this happened. you know, this protest had begun so peacefully. this protest had begun with dallas police officers taking photographs with protesters. this is a city where peaceful protests have happened for a very long time. and to see what happened tonight is beyond inexplicable. >> if i can ask you a very personal question, someone who was raised in that city and loves that city, and is raising your family in that city, what do you say to your family, what do you say to your children? >> well, my son is -- he's a precocious 12-year-old. as i left the house, he was talking about how he was going to have trouble sleeping. and i felt bad i couldn't be there for him. he knows violence occurs everywhere. he's seen it countless times in recent days, weeks and months.
he knows it happens in far away places, in states near ours, in louisiana. it happens all the time and people he knows get killed in dallas every day. but to see it happen like this, to see something happen like this in the downtown where he likes to play, or he likes to run around, where he likes to walk and shop and eat with me, to tell him that something like that happened on his streets, the police officers at a peaceful protest, is something that i know he's smart enough to understand, but i'm not sure i'm equipped to deal with it, much less him. >> obviously this is a downtown and it's a beautiful downtown. it's a very different city than many people see the images of back in 1963, in that very same area. not a place you obviously were ever concerned to have your son, or you would have given a second thought to having him play on those streets. >> and i won't tomorrow.
i know that this was bad people wanting to do bad things to good people and at a time of peace and justice and that's what they -- all they were asking for. i'm rational enough to know this is an awful terror attack in a place that i refuse -- and i refuse to be scared to walk the streets that i love, because i know that i am protected by those who are grieving deeply and profoundly tonight. you know, every time -- i've seen hundreds of officers tonight, and probably to every one of them i said, my condolences because i -- i can only imagine what that family feels. i mean, the fact is, here it is at 4:00 in the morning and there are bomb-sniffing dogs sweeping my city at this very moment. in a couple of hours, i'm going to get up from this chair that i'm sitting in and walk from city hall and spend time with the mayor who's had a very rough
day and try to help him and have him help me understand how to make sense of this, how to recover from this. that's what he's very good at. we're going to look to our police chief, we'll look to our city leaders, we'll look to our spiritual leaders, we'll look to our family members to help us make sense of this. because at the moment i'm having a hell of a hard time being able to do that at the moment. >> and we have just a minute left, but it did strike me, robert, when i saw the press conference and i don't know your police chief or your mayor well, but how open they were and how forth right, and also, how determined. and i wonder how you think the leaders of your community, political leaders, law enforcement leaders, religious leaders, will handle this. >> i have to say, i am very proud to be in dallas, to live here, to write about it. i've always maintained and i say
it facetiously, that this is the greatest city in the world. it doesn't have the attractions of other cities, but i will say this, the people here are kind, they are generous, they are thoughtful and compassionate. and i believe out of these worst moments, we will see your best moments ahead. i think this is a city that is resilient and we'll take care of its own. >> robert wilon ski from the dallas morning news, you have been very kind to take the time to speak with us on what is a devastating night for you and your entire city. i thank you and our sympathies are with you. thank you. >> i do appreciate that. thank you very much. >> it has been a horrific night in dallas, and one that has shaken the country. the shooting, the deaths of five
police officers, 11 people shot overall. at least one civilian shot as well, a woman who went into surgery. i'm chris jansing. we'll continue our coverage here on msnbc throughout the day. i'm to turn it over now to alex witt. >> is that a cop? dude, that's a cop down! dude, that's a cop down. >> yes. >> there's four cops down. >> four? >> yeah, he shot five. >> it's a dude? >> no it's a sniper from up here somewhere. >> it's a sniper? >> you hear the shot? get down, get down. >> good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. it is 5:00 a.m. here in the east, 4:00 avlt m. in dallas, texas, and that is the breaking news we're following from the heart of dallas this morning. one of the deadliest shootings targeting police in recent memory. 11 shot, 5 of those officers killed. a tense standoff with one of the suspects in that deadly ambush on the dallas police reportedly d