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'12 Days In July: Our Shared Tragedy' - The Dallas/Baton Rouge Conversation

Javier Giribet-Vargas
'12 Days In July: Our Shared Tragedy' airs at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 26 in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Dallas/Fort Worth and other cities.

On July 5, Alton Sterling was killed by police officers in Baton Rouge. Two days later in downtown Dallas, at the end of a peaceful protest against the police killings of Sterling and other black men, a lone shooter gunned down five police officers.

That unleashed a spasm of grief and tributes. President Obama flew to Dallas for an interfaith memorial service, where he spoke about the fallen officers, as well as race, including how to improve relations between police and the communities they serve.

Then, on July 17, Baton Rouge grieved again, after a gunman killed three officers there. 

In partnership with WRKF in Baton Rouge and WWNO in New Orleans, KERA in Dallas/Fort Worth produced “12 Days in July: Our Shared Tragedy,” an hourlong call-in special, on Tuesday, July 26. The program looked at how residents are coping with the violence in their cities – and how all Americans might learn from these tragedies.

Malik Aziz, chair of the National Black Police Association, and Maxine Crump, CEO of the Baton Rouge organization Dialogue on Race, were among the guests who joined the conversation.

Listen to the special program

Malik Aziz said:

“We are busy vilifying each other over a hashtag on whether your life matters more than mine matters. I’m a black police officer, so which side am I on? Where do I have to go? My life matters on both of them … I think we can get on one page, but first we have to stop the vilifying of each group.” 

Maxine Crump said: 

“Officers when they take off the uniform, if they’re white, they get all the privileges of being white. They don’t wear that uniform all the time. It’s a career. It’s not the way they have lived all their lives. And I’m sad for when they’re targeted, but mostly they’re treated pretty well.”   

Learn more

Dallas shootings coverage

Explore complete coverage of the Dallas police shootings from KERA News.

'Remembering the Fallen': profiles of the fallen officers

President Obama speaks at the interfaith memorial service

From peace to horror to grief: 24 hours in Dallas through sound and pictures

Baton Rouge shootings coverage

Explore complete Baton Rouge coverage from WWNO and WRKF.

From WWNO:Reporter describes arrest while covering Baton Rouge protests

From WWNO: Mourners gather to remember Alton Sterling

From WRKF: Governor describes shootings as 'pure, unadulterated evil'

From WRKF: Following Alton Sterling shooting, calls for calm -- and action