The country is obviously going through some things right now. From police killing innocent citizens on camera to a sniper shooting 11 police officers and killing 5, we’re in desperate need of healing.
The shooting began on Thursday night and is being called the deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001. Two civilians were also injured in the shootings. One shooter was later killed by a bomb robot detonated by law enforcement. Three other suspects were detained.
We certainly don’t condone the death of any police officer. We want justice and equality, not the loss of more innocent lives, law enforcement or otherwise.
What we also don’t need is that same law enforcement accusing more innocent Black men of being violent, when in reality they were attempting to bear arms, as their constitutional right and peacefully protest. It is this type of mindset that results in the death of innocent, Black men.
Yesterday, the Dallas police department released a picture of a suspect, Mark Hughes. The police department tweeted the picture. They spoke about Hughes at the press conference, where news cameras showed his picture once again.
Within minutes Mark’s brother, Cory Hughes’ phone was blowing up with people calling to inform him that his younger brother’s face was all over the news. They told him that he was a suspect in the shooting and killing of officers. Immediately, Cory instructed his brother to turn his rifle over to police officers.
The Hughes brothers had been participating peacefully in the protest when shots rang out. And there are several videos showing Mark Hughes standing by, innocently, when the shots were fired. Later Hughes turned himself in to authorities where he was questioned and eventually released.
Now, hours after Mark Hughes has been questioned, tested and determined innocent by the police, he hasn’t been issued an apology, the police haven’t spoken to the news media about his innocence, to clear his name. And the tweet that originally implicated him in these shootings has not been removed from the Twitter account.
Later, the two brothers spoke to a local CBS affiliate, KTVT, about the ordeal.
“I could have easily been shot.” Mark said.
Cory Hughes, his brother, said, “We were a part of the organization that put on this peaceful protest. So when they started shooting, we went to the cops and asked what could we do, how could we help them. I told my brother and said ‘Give your gun to this cop.’ because we don’t want an accident. We don’t want them to come around a corner and see a gun and start shooting at you.’ At the end of the day we came for a peaceful protest. We didn’t want anybody to be hurt. We came just for cops and the world to understand that those that are being killed by the cops, we want you guys to know that we’re human but we understand that cops are human. But what I’m bothered by is that my brother easily could have been killed because somebody that was irresponsible identified him as a suspect, not as a person of interest but a suspect.
Mark also described his interaction with the police after he turned himself in.
“I just got out of an interrogation room for about 30 minutes, with police officers lying saying they have video of me shooting a gun. Which is a lie. The system was trying to get me. We asked them we said, ‘Now y’all have my face on national news. Are you going to come out and say that this young man had nothing to do with it?’”
Mark said that he has been receiving death threats.
When his brother asked him if they were going to clear their name, officers told him they would do so after the investigation.
The brothers said that they have no intention of leaving Dallas and Cory said, “I’m still going to protest. I’m still going to be who I am. I’m not afraid. The second amendment gives me the right to bear arms as well. So if someone comes to my house, then you guys [the news crew] may be at my house. Simple as that. I’m going to protect mine and protect my family.”
You can watch the full interview in the video below.