Note: Given the sensitivity of this particular issue, I will only be accepting comments in this post that express empathy and support for the panel. In my view this is not the place/time to debate hand gun policies, politics, or to draw attention back to the white experience. Please respect this request, and know that we will do our best to find other ways to discuss these issues at another time, in another context.
• On Tuesday morning, two police officers fatally shot a black man, Alton B. Sterling, 37, in Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, while trying to arrest him. The shooting was captured on video that drew widespread attention after it was released online on Wednesday.
• The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting, the latest in a series of killings of civilians that have fueled the Black Lives Matter movement.
• There have been protests and a vigil, but the city has otherwise remained calm.
• Mr. Sterling had a long criminal history, but it is not clear whether the officers knew that when they tried to arrest him.
Falcon Heights, Minn.
• On Wednesday evening, a police officer fatally shot a black man, Philando Castile, 32, during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul, the state capital. The aftermath was streamed on Facebook Live by Mr. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, a passenger with her young daughter.
• St. Paul has been convulsed by protests. Demonstrators gathered around the home of Gov. Mark Dayton, who said he was shaken by the video. “Would this have happened if the driver were white, if the passengers were white?” he asked. “I don’t think it would have.”
• Mr. Obama, after arriving in Warsaw for a NATO summit meeting, told reporters, “There’s a big chunk of our citizenry that feels as if, because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same, and that hurts, and that should trouble all of us.” That was before the demonstration — and the killings of police officers — in Dallas.
• Mr. Castile had notified the police officer that he had a gun on him, and was a licensed gun owner. Whether this information affected the shooting is not clear. Mr. Castile’s girlfriend said he was trying to retrieve his license and registration when the officer opened fire.
• Around 9 p.m., shots were fired as hundreds of demonstrators were peacefully marching west on Main Street in downtown Dallas. Scores could be seen fleeing and screaming, as police officers, who were on the scene to maintain order, took cover.
• Five police officers were killed, seven other police officers were shot and two civilians were wounded. A lawyer for five of the wounded officers said they were expected to recover.
• A senior law enforcement official identified the gunman as Micah Johnson, 25, an Army veteran who lived in the Dallas area. The police killed him using a robot-controlled bomb during a standoff early on Friday.