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.”
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
From WWNO: Mourners gather to remember Alton Sterling