CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - On Friday, activists in Chicago expressed concerns that the events in Dallas might reduce the recent focus on unjustified police shootings.
“Our concerns were for their safety, and for the severity of the wounds,” said FOP President Dean Angelo.
The president of Chicago's police union watched with other officers Thursday night as the news in Dallas unfolded. He says they became increasingly aggravated, and numb.
“Several of us had taken our first exam or application processes in the 70s, we were wondering how things got to this point,” Angelo said.
The problem, he says, is too many people defining issues in terms of black and white. Also, there’s a growing willingness on the streets to ignore legal orders from cops.
“I don’t think we would have seen a lot of those headlines, if compliance had been adhered to. Put your hands on the wheel, drop your gun, put your hands behind your back, drop your knife,” Angelo said.
Meanwhile, community activists were walking a fine line between expressing their condolences for what happened in Dallas, but still pushing ahead with demands for police accountability, for what they call the executions of black men nationwide.
At Operation Push, two dozen activists joined with Reverend Jesse Jackson, demanding action after the police shootings this week in Minnesota and Louisiana.
“This country needs a conversation on race, and segregation. And lack of education. And incarceration. And the policies that have destroyed the black community for the last 50 years,” said Rep. Mary Flowers.
Later, activist Eric Russell spoke on behalf of the family of Bettie Jones. She was accidentally shot and killed by Chicago police last December.
“We would say in regards to the shootings of the police officers, now they know how it feels. Now they know how it feels,” said Eric Russell of Tree of Life Justice League.
“That's ridiculous. That’s ridiculous. That does nothing for anyone. You know, it's that type of rhetoric that is infuriating,” Angelo said.
Angelo says Dallas isn't the first time a sniper has targeted police officers. he recalls at least one such incident years ago at Cabrini Green.