ETX residents call for unity after Dallas police shootings, prot - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX residents call for unity after Dallas police shootings, protests

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

What happened in Dallas this week sent shock waves through communities and law enforcement.

In the wake of the fatal shooting of five Dallas officers, East Texans are wondering how protests and police may be impacted. For some in Longview, words are hard to find to describe how the Dallas shooting has affected them.

"I have a good amount of fear, apprehension that comes with it. My dad used to be a cop in Dallas so I felt that fear for my father," says Longview merchant James Sonier.

For Longview NAACP President Branden Johnson, the message of Black Lives Matter is now amended.

"For most people, they go their whole lives without being exposed to violence or seeing it. When are we going to wake up and realize what happens to one of us, happens to all of us? An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," Johnson says, referencing a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "The Dallas incident is a reflection of our entire society."

Others weighed in on the shooting and recent protests.

"Every life does matter. The senseless killing of people is heartbreaking to me," Sonier says.

An East Texas Baptist University student offered a similar view.

"With the recent events in Dallas, we've come to realize that it's not just about black lives, but all lives matter and we need to stand together as an American people as a country unified," says ETBU student Sheldon McGowan. "Violence doesn't cure violence. We shouldn't hate our brothers in blue, we should stand behind them."

Some residents felt recent events might cause the tensions to bubble over.

"I think it takes away from what we've always known as quote 'peaceful protesting.' I believe the pots been stirred and people are getting more angry," says Longview resident Gloria Darr.

"Every life matters, our police officers lives matter. It's the blue lives, the white lives, the black lives the brown lives," Darr says.

Many East Texans said they worry about what can be done to improve security for police and citizens at any future protests.

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