Chief David Brown spoke to the crowds at a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square after the July 7, 2016, police ambush in Dallas.
Chief David Brown spoke to the crowds at a prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square after the July 7, 2016, police ambush in Dallas.
Kathy Tran

Dallas County Grand Jury Declines to Indict Police Officers Who Killed Micah Johnson

A Dallas County grand jury declined Wednesday to indict any of the Dallas Police Department officers who helped kill the gunman who murdered six Dallas officers in a July 7, 2016, ambush, according to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office. The decision closes the books on an investigation that's lasted for more than 18 months after Micah Johnson's attack following a march against police brutality downtown.

The aftermath of the explosion that killed Micah Johnson in El Centro College's C Building.EXPAND
The aftermath of the explosion that killed Micah Johnson in El Centro College's C Building.
Kathy Tran

“As with all officer involved shootings, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office presented the July 7, 2016, case involving the ambush of officers with the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department to a grand jury," District Attorney Faith Johnson said in a statement. "The Grand Jury returned a no bill. All evidence related to this case has been returned to the Dallas Police Department."

As the demonstration ended that night near the Bank of America building in the 900 block of Main Street, Johnson shot his way into El Centro College, eventually taking a position at a wall of windows in the library overlooking a loading dock. Johnson fired hundreds of shots, killing five DPD officers and one DART officer before eventually taking cover at the end of a hallway filled with offices and computer servers.

Injured and bleeding, Johnson held off police for more than four hours before then-Chief David Brown decided to send a robot armed with a pound of C4 explosive into Johnson's hiding spot. Last summer, during a tour promoting his new memoir, Brown explained his thought process:

"We weaponized a bomb robot with a pound of C4. It had never been tried, never been thought of," Brown said. "We distracted the suspect, Micah Johnson, because the robot makes a humming noise and it had to go down a long hallway [to Johnson's perch at El Centro] to get close enough to him to detonate. Our negotiator, who was skillful, for 3½ hours negotiated with him, tried to get him to give up peacefully, only to be met with joking and laughter about killing five officers and wanting to kill more officers. So the negotiator distracted him, the bomb robot got to the distance between you and I, and we had a det cord, a long cord — we tried that and it didn't work, but we had a backup that was a remote detonator. We pressed that, and it exploded. I'd do it again, without question."

After the ambush, DPD conducted a yearlong investigation before turning the case over to Johnson's office in July. During its investigation, DPD went through more than 500 video files from witnesses and officers' body cameras, collected more than 200 rounds of ammunition at the shooting scene and talked to more than 240 people about what they saw that night.

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