The Fraternal Order of Police, the country’s largest group of sworn law-enforcement officers, is asking the Justice Department to “immediately” investigate the killing of five Dallas police officers as a hate crime.
“The U.S. Department of Justice is always quick to insert itself into local investigations,” group President Chuck Canterbury said Friday. “Today we expect action just as swift. We want a federal investigation into those who were motivated by their hatred of police to commit mass murder in Dallas.”
Police say the shooter in Thursday’s attack, Micah Johnson, a 25-year-old black Army veteran, was angry about two recent incidents in which a police officer fatally shot a black male.
And Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Johnson, killed by officers in a standoff, “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
However, the Justice Department’s definition of a hate crime is limited to bigotry, violence or intimidation based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability, despite the police group trying to get attacks on police officers addded to the list.
“If there has ever been an assassination of police officers that fits the current hate crime legislation, Dallas is it,” Canterbury told National Public Radio on Friday. “Though the main offender is dead, the hate crime investigation will show to the Justice Department and to the country that this was a hate-based crime.”