Cocktail Friday: Blood and Sand

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 1:43pm

Blood and SandJuice drinks are famously caloric, but then again, why not indulge in some fresh fruit during summer, when it’s in season? And whiskey is always in season.

2 oz. Dewar’s 12-year blended scotch

1 oz. cherry liqueur (kirsch)

1 oz. Martin & Rossi Rosso vermount

1 oz. fresh squeezes orange juice

Making it: Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake till well-chilled. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with lemon twist.


‘We share a common pain’

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 1:37pm

IMG_9796Several thousand people gathered in Thanksgiving Square to honor police and remember the victims after last night’s shootings left five officers dead and seven other officers and two civilians wounded.

A wall of religious leaders and politicians conveyed the unity of the Dallas community. Sen. Royce West noted the diversity of the crowd that included all races, religions and political affiliations.

Of the more than 50 religious leaders, the Rev. Eric Folkerth represented Northaven United Methodist Church, Chris Chism and the Rev. Todd Scoggins represented Cathedral of Hope and Linda Evans represented Congregation Beth El Binah.

Police officers from most departments around the area either attended or were patrolling streets around Thanksgiving Square.

The opening religious speaker said, “We share a common pain. We refuse to hate each other.”

The ovation for Dallas Police Chief David Brown was long and loud.

“Dallas is a city that loves,” Brown said. “We’re hurting. We need this city.”

He said that although the shooter in the El Centro parking lot who was killed this morning told negotiators that he acted alone, the evidence and information from suspects in custody indicate this was a “well planned attack.”

Mayor Mike Rawlings said the JFK assassination more than 50 years ago defined the city.

“Through that tragedy, modern day Dallas was born,” he said. Thanksgiving Square was built a year after the JFK assassination.

He said Dallas would emerge from this tragedy a better city.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who stood directly behind each of the speakers, was never invited to the microphone.


Dallas is a beacon for police getting it right, which no act of madness should hide

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 11:14am

Terry-downtownI am heartbroken by the carnage in our city last night.

Years ago — before it became a widely-employed practice — the Dallas Police Department was one of the first to train its officers in de-escalation — the process of bringing highly-charged confrontations to peaceful ends with no shots fired by any party. Dallas has one of the best records among major American cities on police shootings. Which made Dallas, ironically, the unlikeliest city in America to be protesting police shootings in other cities. It’s one of the reasons the rally was so peaceful, and so well-received by others in the downtown area. Dallas is held up as an example of a police force “getting it right” on officer training and the culture of respect. But expecting any kind of intelligence or cultural knowledge among assassins is pointless. These men with assault rifles are driven by hate, not truth. Certainly not reason.

DPS leadership specifically chose to send out a large number of officers to ensure safety at the rally. They chose summer shorts uniforms rather than the standard riot-gear because they wanted to present a friendly face to protect this rally — a risky move to send a message of solidarity and openness. How many of those injured — of those killed — would have been better off in the bulletproof gear left behind in their lockers?

This is not to say America does not have a crippling and serious problem with overreaction by some police who are clearly racially profiling citizens. The actions of these cops is deeply disturbing to Americans of all races, and we must not stop in our demands for change. My point is that Dallas stands head and shoulders above other metropolitan cities in teaching officers how to avoid profiling and overreaction. Today is a sad day for Dallas. A sad day for America. A sad day for law enforcement.

I hope the majority of Americans are ready to make semi-automatic long guns and other weapons of war illegal again. That law never should have been allowed to expire.

Terry Thompson is co-owner of Dallas Voice.


Shooter identified

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 10:24am

DART officer Brent Thompson

Dallas police identified the shooter killed in the El Centro parking garage as Micah X. Johnson.

Police said he told negotiators he wanted “to kill white people, especially white officers.” He was not affiliated with any group or terrorist organization, but angry about recent police shootings in other cities, as far as police know at this point in the investigation. He was in the Army Reserves as a junior officer.

Of all police departments in major U.S. cities, DPD has the lowest rate of officer-involved shootings.

No information has been released about the DPD officers who were killed and injured, but DART has given out names of their officers shot and information about the officer killed.

The three DART officers who were shot and are expected to recover from their injuries are Omar Cannon, 44, Misty McBride, 32, and Jesus Retana, 39.

The officer killed, Brent Thompson, 43, was married two weeks ago. His wife, Emily, is also a DART officer and was not on duty last night.

People will gather at Thanksgiving Square at noon for a service to remember the slain officers.


Streets closed downtown, 12th officer reported shot

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 7:42am

downtown mapIf you work downtown, you are asked to stay home. Streets in downtown Dallas closed include a 25-square block area — everything from Houston to Griffin streets and Ross Avenue to Jackson Street. No traffic will be allowed until further notice.

A 12th officer and a second civilian was reported shot. The death toll remains at five.

Chief Brown corrected information reported overnight. The suspect that died in the El Centro parking garage died as a result of the bomb squad robot detonating a bomb near him.

According to Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell, one of the DART officers injured worked for partner benefits with his husband in 2013 when DART was resisting covering gay and lesbian officers equally with straight officers.

LGBT Police liaison Laura Martin was assigned to the demonstration. She worked throughout the night and will be back at work a little later this morning, but she reports she is safe.


Trump and his magical thinking

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 7:40am

You can’t fight hate with hate, and hate’s all he has to offer



D’Anne WitkowskiSo much anti-LGBT dumb-fuckery has emerged after the shooting of 102 people, of which 49 were killed, by a man with a military-style assault weapon at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando.

There has also been much love and support for LGBT people and rainbow flags a’flyin’ — literally and figuratively. And that’s nice. But, man, the anti-gay stuff is just especially exhausting to read through and think about right now.

But I do it for you, dear reader. And while there were a lot of potential Creeps, many of them were pretty small fish, all things considered. So I chose a big fish, albeit one with very tiny hands.

As has been established, one of the first things Donald Trump did after the shootings was to hop on Twitter and basically congratulate himself “for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” Granted he followed that with “I don’t want congrats,” but I doubt he really meant that. As one of the most narcissistic people ever to run for president, I’ll bet he gets a boner every time he’s praised.

On June 12, the Tweet that came before read, “Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families.” Which is an appropriate thing to say.

But it doesn’t really mean shit because from that moment on Trump has been using the Orlando shooting for political gain, namely by crafting the narrative that President Obama and soon-to-be-President Hillary Clinton are somehow softies for terrorists, and that since terrorist groups like ISIS hate LGBT people, Obama and Clinton basically hate LGBT people, too.

“Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she supports immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country and who suppress women, gays, and anyone else who doesn’t share their views or values,” Trump said in a June 13 speech.

In other words, since Trump, who doesn’t even support marriage equality, hates Muslims he’s a far better presidential choice for gays.

“Ask yourself who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community. Donald Trump with actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words?” Trump continued.

I don’t know what actions Trump is talking about since he has no “actions” to show for his supposed support of LGBT people. He has not done a single thing but run his mouth about how much he hates brown people.

It looks like Trump is engaging in some magical thinking here. Apparently he believes that everything he says comes true. I, for one, am very relieved that is not the case.

On June 14 Trump tweeted, “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

Not sure what he’s thanking LGBT people for, but support certainly isn’t it. LGBT voters support Clinton by a mile.

Some individual LGBT people have expressed their support for Trump following the Orlando shooting. Fear makes people to do stupid things.

And Trump is happy to capitalize on fear. In fact, his campaign wouldn’t exist without it.

On June 17 he promised via Twitter, “More attacks will follow Orlando.”

Perhaps Trump has dreams where he stops the next attack, flying through the air and stopping bullets with his bare tiny hands. But as far as actual policies go, all Trump has is anti-Muslim rhetoric that inflames hate and inspires bigotry.

You can’t fight hate with hate, and yet that’s all Trump has to offer. And LGBT people have had more than enough hatred, thank you.

D’Anne Witkowski is a freelance writer and poet and a writing teacher at the Universtiy of Michigan. She writes the weekly “Creep of the Week” column for Q Syndicate.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 8, 2016.


PHOTOS: Robert Moore’s photos get national attention

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 7:15am


Former Dallas Voice owner/publisher Robert Moore spent about two hours last Thursday night, July 7, crouched behind a car with a Dallas Police officer as a sniper with a semi-automatic rifle rained gunfire down on officers and civilians after a peaceful #BlackLivesMatter protest.

We published Moore’s early account of the experience here (you can read it below, too). By Friday, photos Moore took during those two hours — the one above and three others below — had gone viral, catching the attention of media around the world.

Here’s what Moore told Dallas Voice senior news writer David Taffet on Thursday:

Former Dallas Voice Publisher Robert Moore was at the demonstration. He said he saw the shots fired and saw one of the officers go down.
Moore said he scrambled behind a car. Officers were shouting, “He’s elevated. He’s elevated.”
Along with two officers, Moore said he moved to the other side of the car. He remained crouched behind the car with two officers on one side and an officer with an automatic weapon on the other. While most people were on the perimeter, Moore was trapped in the middle with police.
Tactical officers and armored vehicles showed up on the scene. Officers began looking for bombs, which they suspected the shooters might have left as well.
Moore said he was trapped for about two hours, until they were cleared and he could leave the scene.

Robert.2 Robert.3 Robert.4



UPDATE: Shooter shoots and kills himself

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 2:41am

Police were reporting the shooter was “neutralized.” Our latest information is the shooter shot and killed himself.

That shooter had been in a standoff with Dallas police for hours in the El Centro college parking garage. Negotiators said they were getting nowhere with him.

The report he shot himself came at 2:30 a.m., but the tactical squad was seen leaving the garage and police in the area began to relax about half an hour before that.

Three other people have been arrested in connection with the ambush of 11 police officers that took place about 9 p.m. on Thursday evening.

People who work downtown are asked to stay home on Friday.

County Judge Clay Jenkins said the following buildings will be closed:

The George Allen Courts Building

The Dallas County Records Building

Old Red

The Dallas County Administration Building

El Centro College and the Dallas Holocaust Museum will also be closed.



UPDATE: Fox 4 reporting suspect has shot himself; number of dead back at 5

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 2:23am

Dallas’ Fox 4 News is reporting that it is believed that the shooting suspect who had been in a standoff with officers inside one of the El Centro College buildings has shot himself.

DART just announced that they were mistaken in saying the death toll is at 6. Four Dallas PD officers and 1 DART officer have died.


UPDATE: Man initially thought to be a suspect has been released

Posted on 08 Jul 2016 at 1:53am

Mark Hughes has been released and no longer appears to be a suspect in the shootings in downtown Dallas

Mark Hughes, the man in the photo released Thursday evening as a possible suspect in the shooting that happened in downtown Dallas, has been released and is no longer believed to have been involved.

Mark Hughes is the brother of, Cory Hughes, one of the men who organized the peaceful protest. Cory Hughes has said that Mark, who was carrying an assault rifle, was demonstrating his right to carry a firearm. Immediately after the shootings, Cory got Mark to turn the gun over to police to avoid any problems. That happened before police released the photo of Mark, wearing camo and carrying a rifle.

After police released that photo and asked the public to help find him, Mark Hughes turned himself into police. He has now been released and no longer appears to be a suspect in the shooting.