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Flags Lowered As Connecticut Leaders Express Outrage Over Police Shootings

The flags are half-staff at the Norwalk Police Department. Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department / Instagram
Police departments across the nation are in mourning, after the shooting in Dallas. Photo Credit: contributed

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Friday that all U.S. and state flags in Connecticut should be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of Thursday night’s deadly attack in Dallas on police officers.

Flags should remain at half-staff until sunset on Tuesday, July 12, in accordance with a proclamation from President Barack Obama.

As a peaceful protest over fatal police shootings of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota drew to a close in Dallas, at least one gunman opened fire on police officers. Five were killed and seven others wounded, as well as two civilians. One gunman was killed by police after a hours-long standoff.

"The events over the last week shock the soul," Malloy said. "They have been jolts to our collective conscience -- both in Connecticut and nationwide -- that require a moment of mass reflection. As a society, we must look in the mirror and ask very simple questions that don’t always have easy answers.

"Is the horror we've witnessed over the last week really who we are -- and is it who we want to be? How is it that violence in our society has become so profoundly pervasive? How is it that we are watching weekly -- if not daily -- tragedy occur? And of course, how do we honor and remember those who have suffered through needless violence, how do we heal together and how do we move forward to prevent this senselessness from occurring yet again?"

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) echoed those thoughts.

"The heart-wrenching tragedies over the past days test the legal fabric and moral resolve of our great nation‎," said Blumenthal. "Coming together, we must lock arms and hearts as we seek healing and justice.‎ My heart goes out to the families of five courageous police officers who were killed last night and all who were injured. They were victims of brutal and unconscionable criminal attacks.‎ I am especially saddened that this heinous attack took place as these officers were selflessly protecting their fellow citizens’ ability to exercise a most fundamental right -- the right to gather in peaceful protest.‎"

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-5th District) also said on Friday, "I am heartbroken and outraged over the targeted attack on the Dallas police force yesterday ... . Now more than ever, we need law, order, justice and peace. These outrageous murders in Dallas only compound the heartache and injustice felt by millions of Americans over the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Black lives matter. We must say so, and we must commit to pursuing justice."

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th District) also offered his condolences and shock over the recent events. "Grief does not begin to describe the pain in my heart for the fallen officers in Dallas, victims of a vicious pre-meditated attack. These murders, following so quickly the profoundly troubling deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, the mass shooting in Orlando and the seemingly daily onslaught of violence in American communities, have shaken us deeply. The loss of any innocent life is a tragedy, and it must stop. More violence will solve nothing."

"Americans are united in our grief over these barbaric murders," U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy also said on Friday. "I'm mourning the loss of the five brave Dallas police officers who gave their lives protecting marchers' right to protest safely. Americans are united in our grief over these barbaric murders. I pray we can stay united by a shared desire to prevent more families from knowing the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.

"Our children are being murdered. Our neighbors, gunned down. Our police officers, assassinated. And Congress is still silent. I cannot fathom the level of cynicism it must take to look at the drumbeat of murder in our streets and conclude that there is nothing Washington can or should do to try and stop it.

"My heart breaks for the families of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the countless other African American families who have had a loved one taken from them too soon," Murphy said. "Their lives mattered. Black lives matter. Now is the time for us to take a hard look at the promises we make to one another as Americans. We are failing in our promise to protect the lives of every citizen of this great nation.

"We can start fulfilling this promise by reforming our criminal justice system, improving police education and training programs to address de-escalation and implicit bias, and expanding community policing programs that focus on integrating officers into the communities they serve. But that's just a start. This will be hard work, but admitting our continued failure is the first step."

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