Dominique Alexander, the head of Next Generation Action Network and one of the people behind the protest that preceded July 7 police shootings in downtown Dallas, is not wasting much time. The group's next protest, he announced Monday afternoon, is going to go on Thursday night, two weeks to the day after Micah Xavier Johnson's ambush.
The protest is set for Main Street Garden park, about half a mile east of Belo Garden, the starting point of the previous march. Alexander is organizing the event in response to Texas Governor Greg Abbott's announcing Monday that he is set to push for something called the "Police Protection Act" during the next session of the Texas Legislature.
The Police Protection Act would extend hate crime protections to law enforcement officers, stiffen the penalties for crimes committed against cops and create a campaign to educate young Texans about why they should treat police with respect.
"The men and women in uniform risk their lives every day to protect the public, and it is time we show them the State of Texas has their back," Abbott said Monday. "Texas will no longer tolerate disrespect for those who serve, and it must be made clear to anyone targeting our law enforcement officials that their actions will be met with severe justice."
Abbott is just making things worse, Alexander said in front of Dallas Police headquarters Monday afternoon.
"Right now, we need laws that are going to be proactive, rather than reactive," Alexander said. "We need laws that are going to be proactive to prevent the acts of violence, whether it's acts of violence towards officers or whether it's acts of violence toward the community."
After announcing the details of the protest, Alexander singled out Patricio Zamarripa, one of the officers killed by Johnson, for praise. "Zamarripa was one of the officers who wanted to address these issues," Alexander said, "and in his legacy, we must continue to come together as the city of Dallas to address this issue of police brutality."
In the aftermath of the shooting, Dallas Police Chief David Brown has called for those who have a problem with the way the police have treated the African-American community to sign up to be cops themselves, something Alexander took issue with.
"We aren't protesting because there aren't enough officers, we're protesting because there is not accountability for the bad officers," he said. "We want to be able to keep these rogue officers off our force when they violate someone's basic civil liberties in America."
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