The Big Conversation
After a weekend of mourning in the aftermath of a shooting that left five police officers dead and several more injured in Dallas on Thursday, Texans are looking ahead to a memorial service that President Barack Obama is expected to attend.
Gov. Greg Abbott cut short a family vacation to return to Texas in the aftermath of the shooting, but it remains unclear if he will attend the Tuesday memorial — or the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland — in light of the news that he suffered severe burns in an accident involving being scalded by hot water on his trip. As the Tribune's Patrick Svitek reports, a spokesman for Abbott declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the incident, but “more information about Abbott's condition is expected Monday after he sees a specialist at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.”
As the Tribune's Isabelle Taft reported, while some public officials have called for unity in the wake of the shooting in Dallas, tensions remain high ahead of Tuesday's memorial.
Reporting from Dallas, the Tribune's Terri Langford wrote that law enforcement officials clarified this weekend that one sniper, identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, carried out the attack on Thursday during an otherwise peaceful march organized to protest the deaths of two black men killed by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota last week.
Before he was killed in a stand-off against police, Johnson had said he “wanted to kill white people,” and while he does not appear to have been affiliated with any protest groups, some Texas officials, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, nevertheless scrutinized the Black Lives Matter movement after the shooting, blaming activists' rhetoric for inciting violence. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen called Black Lives Matter a “radical hate group” in response to the shooting, prompting 13 local leaders to condemn his comments.
The Tribune's Morgan Smith and Johnathan Silver look at how the shooting stands to test Dallas' progress on race and police relations. The Washington Post notes that Dallas Police Chief David Brown is no stranger to grieving in the wake of gun violence — his own son died in a shoot-out with police several years ago.
Trib Must Reads
Black Gun Owners in Texas Decry Racial Bias, by Khorri Atkinson — When police mistakenly identified a peaceful protester who was legally, openly carrying a weapon as a suspect in the Dallas attacks, it sparked outrage among black gun owners who say they're discriminated against for exercising their Second Amendment right.
Feds Tight-Lipped on Weeding Out Corrupt Border Agents, by Neena Satija — Whether most — or even a significant fraction of — corrupt federal border agents are caught and punished is an open question. Customs and Border Protection boasts of more stringent screening and monitoring of its agents but releases little data to back up its claims.
Reveal Radio: When Border Watchdogs Become Criminals, by Neena Satija and Jay Root — This hour of Reveal features a joint investigation with The Texas Tribune on federal border watchdogs who turned criminal.
Thousands of Students Who Failed STAAR Exams Will Graduate, by Kiah Collier — Nearly 6,000 Texas high school students were cleared for graduation were able to graduate in 2015 even though they didn't pass all of their end-of-course exams, according to data the Texas Education Agency posted online this spring but did not announce.
Texas Supreme Court Halts Children's Therapy Cuts, by Edgar Walters — The Texas Supreme Court on Friday delivered a temporary, last-minute victory to the families of children with disabilities who want to stop sweeping budget cuts to a state-funded children’s therapy program.
Dallas Police, Protesters Were United Before Sniper Attack, by Jordan Rudner — Thursday night's brutal attack on Dallas officers followed an otherwise peaceful demonstration against police brutality, in a city where authorities have gone to great lengths to improve relations with the black community.
Analysis: Texas Leaders Have Lesson to Learn from Dallas Attacks, by Ross Ramsey — Texas politicians and community leaders must do what the police courageously did on Thursday night in Dallas: Somebody has to run toward the trouble.
(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)
Profiles in courage: A look at the lives of the Dallas ambush victims, The Dallas Morning News
Who was Micah Johnson? A more complex picture emerges, The Dallas Morning News
Some black and Latinos say conversation on race and policing is being forgotten, The Dallas Morning News
'Lives matter; we are all Americans': Dallas protesters, counterprotesters come together with police, The Dallas Morning News
Dallas rampage renews gun control debate, Houston Chronicle
Texas Open-Carry Laws Blurred Lines Between Suspects and Marchers, The New York Times
At Dallas police headquarters, the city gathers to memorialize its fallen, The Dallas Morning News
Days after Dallas, Houston churches work to close a racial divide, Houston Chronicle
S.A. parents facing hard talks with kids in wake of police shootings, San Antonio Express-News
A year later, Bland remembered with milestones and poetry, Houston Chronicle
Official's departure 1 more issue for Texas foster care, The Associated Press
Houston's schools adjust to an oil bust, after gearing up for a boom, Houston Chronicle
Quote to Note
“The past 24 hours in Dallas has been a veritable tale of two cities. It has been the tale of heroism of police officers. At the same time it has been a tale of cowardice by an assassin.”
— Gov. Greg Abbott, in the aftermath of the Thursday night shooting in Dallas
Trib Events for the Calendar
• Life on the Border: Rhetoric or Reality? on Aug. 4 at The Centennial Club in McAllen
• The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin
• TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center