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Sun: Winnipeg cops saddened by Dallas tragedy

July 11, 2016 — 

As the Winnipeg Sun reports:

It’s being described as the deadliest day for U.S. police officers since 9/11 — five Dallas officers shot dead and seven others wounded following a Black Lives Matter protest rally….

University of Manitoba criminologist Frank Cormier cautioned against assigning too much significance to the targets of the shooting and its racial backdrop.

“What’s grabbing people’s attention is that the targets were police,” Cormier said. “If we set that aside for a minute, then this isn’t all that different from what has become a very common occurrence in the U.S. That is sad in itself, that there has to be something unique about it to make people sit up and take notice.”

Cormier said shootings like the one in Dallas strike fear in people because they appear to be an attack on our system of order, a fear he rejects as misguided. “I don’t think this is the beginning of an attack on the underpinnings of society,” he said.

Many people may be angry about criminal or suspect police shootings of black people, but very few of those same people are going to be driven to kill, Cormier said. Those that do were likely already looking for a reason to kill somebody.

“The people who do these kinds of shootings generally find reasons to shoot people,” Cormier said, noting the example of Omar Mateen, who claimed allegiance to four different terrorist organizations before killing 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando last month. Investigators found no evidence Mateen had ties to any terrorist group.

“These are people that are on the edge, angry, mentally ill, and have access to firearms,” Cormier said. “If people have enough anger and hate in them … it makes them feel better about what they are doing to attach it to a political cause of some sort … Everybody wants their actions to mean something.”

 

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