Top Stories: Dallas Police Update Shooting Investigation; Texas Music Heroes | KERA News

Top Stories: Dallas Police Update Shooting Investigation; Texas Music Heroes

Jul 7, 2017

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

Today, North Texans honored and remembered the five officers who were killed last July 7 when a gunman opened fire on a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas. Late this afternoon, Dallas police updated reporters on the investigation into what happened a year ago. 

Department officials say they expect to hand their investigation over to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office early next week to be reviewed and presented to a grand jury.

Every time police use lethal force, the investigation into the incident is presented  to a grand jury, which determines whether the use of lethal force was justified.

Police officials say they believe it was the right call to send in a robot with a bomb attached to kill Micah Johnson, the shooter, because they believed more officers, and possibly more civilians, could have been killed if they didn’t end the standoff in that way.

Officials described a massive crime scene, hundreds of people to interview, and several hundred video files from police-worn body cameras, cell phone videos and private surveillance cameras that took thousands of hours to review. In addition, there was a lot of physical evidence to process, including shell casings, weapons and even the bodies of the officers who were killed.

All of it while the investigators were grieving the loss of their colleagues.

Interim Dallas Police Chief David Pughes said the department is investing in more heavy body armor, and has begun to manage protests differently since the attacks, including giving officers the choice to wear more tactical gear while working protests. Previously, that was considered to be too militaristic or to appear adversarial.

 Other stories this evening:

  • Today on a special episode of Think, we looked back at the July 7th shooting. We heard from former Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Kim Cole of the Next Generation Action Network, which organized the protest. We start with John Abbot, a police officer at El Centro College -- he was wounded in the attack. 
  • Almost any state can boast about the music it's given the world. Still, longtime music critic Michael Corcoran says Texas stands out. He's written a book about the state's musical heroes. In this week’s State of the Arts, Art&Seek’s Hady Mawajdeh was surprised to learn that Willie Nelson isn't one of them. 

 You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.