Remembering July 7: How North Texas Will Mark The Day 5 Officers Died
North Texas will commemorate the anniversary of July 7, 2016, with a wide range of community events. Here's a list that will be updated as more events are announced.
The July 7 rally was in response to a spate of police shootings of black men — specifically, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. Protesters echoed messages heard at rallies across the country that summer.
As the event was wrapping up, emotions were high but there was no violence. Until Micah Johnson started shooting. The gunman barricaded himself in the loading dock of El Centro College, leading to a standoff that lasted for hours. Early the next morning, police sent a robot in, carrying a bomb. It detonated, killing Johnson.
Four Dallas police officers — Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith and Patrick Zamarripa – and a transit police officer, Brent Thompson, lost their lives. The city, and the country, were shaken for days.
Tears were shed, and tributes made, at aninterfaith prayer service the next day, acandlelight vigil and the officialmemorial service where Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush spoke, along with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, then-Police Chief David Brown and others. In the following days, Dallas remembered the fallen officers in five somber funeral services.
Here's what's planned to mark the anniversary:
- At 9 a.m., a private donor will unveil a monument, named “The Dallas Circle of Heroes Memorial” in honor of the five fallen officers. The monument is located at 1350 Manufacturing St. in Dallas.
- Photojournalists from The Dallas Morning News will participate in a panel discussion about their experience recording the events of the ambush. “In This Moment: Power of Photography” will take place at 6 p.m. at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. The panel, moderated by director of photography Marcia Allert, will include Ashley Landis, Rose Baca, Smiley Pool and Tom Fox.
- The Dallas Police Department is holding the “Night of Honor” awards ceremony at the American Airlines Center at 6:30 p.m to honor the officers involved in the ambush. Speakers include Mark Cuban, Interim Chief of Police David Pughes and Fox 4 news anchor Clarice Tinsley.
- Creative Arts Center of Dallas, in partnership with WFAA-TV, has organized a live mural painting project to pay tribute to the five fallen officers. The project will be held at Victory Plaza outside Channel 8 studios. The public is invited to help out between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. There will also be a live stream of the painting project on WFAA.com and its Facebook page.
- Faith Forward Dallas will host a prayer service from 10 to 11 a.m. at Thanks-Giving Square. Faith leaders, city officials, police, families of the fallen officers and community members will be participating in the event.
- El Centro College will hold a ceremony open to students, employees and the general public at 11 a.m. in the Student Center, located at 801 Main St. El Centro President Jose Adames will lead the ceremony, which focuses on renewal and rebuilding. Guest speakers include students and District 10 City Council member Adam McGough. Also, a student artwork will be unveiled at the ceremony.
- “Think” with Krys Boyd will broadcast a special anniversary program at 1 p.m. Listeners will hear from one of the officers who was wounded in the attack. The show will explore how Dallas has changed – and stayed the same – since that night. Stream online or tune into KERA 90.1 FM.
- Five journalists from The Dallas Morning News will host a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” at 2 p.m., taking questions about covering the night of the ambush. Breaking News editor Chris Siron, breaking news producer Claire Cardona, staff photographers Ashley Landis and Smiley Pool and engagement editor Hannah Wise will participate.
- Tribute 7/7, hosted by various police associations, is the city’s central event for the anniversary of the ambush. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall Plaza and include a flag presentation between DART and Dallas police officers, a moment of silence at the Dallas Police Memorial, a commemorative walk, and messages and prayers from speakers to honor both the fallen officers and the community who provided support to law enforcement throughout the year. All events are free but registration is required.
- A run of the show, “Shots Fired,” a co-production of Cry Havoc Theater and Kitchen Dog Theater inspired by the police ambush, starts July 7. Performances are July 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on July 9. All shows will be at Trinity River Arts Center in Dallas. Tickets are available on Kitchen Dog’s site.
- Additionally, Cry Havoc Theater will host a panel discussion at 7 p.m. on July 13 before that night’s production of “Shots Fired.” Panelists include Mark Hughes, who was wrongly identified as a suspect, Shetamia Taylor, one of the civilians who was shot, and Dr. Brian Williams, the surgeon at Parkland Hospital who led the team caring for several wounded officers. Pastor Richie Butler of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church will moderate.
- Walkers and runners are invited to participate in Run For The Blue at 8 a.m. at Trinity Groves. You have the option to complete the 5K or one-mile race. Both are free, but you can make a donation during registration; proceeds will be distributed through the Blue Guardian Fund to the families of the fallen and injured officers.
- Crossfit Heat is hosting The Dallas Five Memorial from 6-10 p.m. at the gym, located at 810 Saint Paul St., to raise funds for a nonprofit that provides financial support for families of fallen officers. The event will include food trucks, live music and local vendor booths.
- The Weekend of Honor will pay tribute to those who were killed and wounded in the line of duty within the last year. Events include the 7/7 Tribute, the Run For The Blue race, and on July 9, a ceremony honoring recipients of the President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Learn more on the event's website.
- A community event, called "Together We Heal," will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the American Airlines Center. The afternoon will include a meet and greet with Dallas police officers, appearances by professional basketball players and more family-oriented fun. The event is part of the "Year of Unity," an initiative started by St. Paul United Methodist Church Pastor Richie Butler after the police ambush. Tickets are required for admission, but they're available for free. Here's more information.
- U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz from Texas introduced a Senate Resolution to honor the first anniversary of the ambush. Read the resolution.
- In the days after the shooting, a makeshift memorial was created outside Jack Evans Police Headquarters. When rain threatened to ruin the posters, stuffed animals and other items placed by members of the community, the Dallas Public Library collected them for safekeeping. Those items will be back on display at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and other branches throughout the month of July.
- KERA News takes a look back at the sights and sounds of the hours after a gunman opened fire on police on July 7, 2016, featuring images from The Dallas Morning News.
If you know of more community events for the anniversary, please leave a comment in the forum below.