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Dallas Officers Who Killed July 7 Gunman Face No Charges, Grand Jury Rules

The scene in downtown Dallas on July 7, 2016, following the shooting of law enforcement.
Javier Giribet-Vargas
KERA News Special Contributor
The scene in downtown Dallas on July 7, 2016, following the shooting of law enforcement.

A grand jury has declined to bring charges against Dallas police officers responsible for the death of a sniper who had killed five officers during a downtown rally.

The Dallas County District Attorney's office said in a statement Wednesday that investigators presented their findings to a grand jury more than a year after the July 7, 2016, attack.

The decision appears to conclude the investigation, which began shortly after gunman Micah Johnson fatally shot the officers.

Johnson later was killed by a robot carrying explosives — a first for any U.S. law enforcement agency.

Ballistic reports, transcripts of police negotiations with Johnson, and other evidence has been withheld.

Johnson killed four Dallas police officers and a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer.

'An effort to protect our community'

Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson released a statement: 

“As with all officer involved shootings, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office presented the July 7, 2016 case involving the ambush of officers with the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department to a grand jury," Johnson said in the statement. "The Grand Jury returned a no bill. All evidence related to this case has been returned to the Dallas Police Department. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those who lost their lives that night, the officers who were injured, and all of the men and women who courageously put themselves into harm’s way, all in an effort to protect our community.”

'This wasn't an ethical dilemma for me'

During a press conference in 2016, David Brown, the Dallas police chief at the time, reflected on the events that led to Johnson’s death.

After hours of negotiating with Johnson while he was holed up in the parking garage of El Centro Community College, Brown said: Enough.

“I knew that at least two had been killed, and we knew through negotiation this was a suspect because he was asking us how many did he get,” Brown said at the press conference. “And he was telling us how many more he wanted to kill.”

Brown asked his team to come up with an idea, so they attached a pound of C-4 explosive to their bomb disposal robot and detonated it within a few feet of where Johnson was hiding.

“This wasn't a ethical dilemma for me,” Brown told reporters. “I'd do it again to save our officers' lives.”

The heavy duty, mostly metal robot is about the size of a lawnmower with hefty treaded wheels, cameras and a large extendable arm. It's made by Northrop Grumman's subsidiary Remotec.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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