Friday marks one year since a deadly ambush attack in Dallas that cost four police officers and one transit officer their lives. The murders happened during a march to protest police shootings of black men.
The suspect, a 25-year old former army reservist, acted alone, and died during a standoff. It was the deadliest single incident for law enforcement officers since 9/11.
“We have to do what we can do to change the narrative that is presented across the country that there's some time of war or battle between the police and the community which is completely false,” says Michael Mata, vice president of the Dallas Police Association.
Gov. Greg Abbott is calling on police across the state to flash their lights for one minute Friday morning at 10 am out of respect for those killed. Mata says it’s just one of the many gestures shown to his officers in the past year.
“We've been doing community policing for over 15 years its nothing new to this department, it really showed where it paid off to have that relationship already there,” says Mata. “Unfortunately these events continue to happen across the country.”
That's why Abbott spokesman John Wittman says they worked hard this legislative session to protect first responders.
“We passed a bill that will make it a hate crime for anyone in Texas to target a peace officer solely for the uniform they where,” he says. “Additionally, this session we got some more funding for bullet-proof vests for our law enforcement officers.”
A weekend of events is planned to honor the dead officers and the seven others who were injured.
Family and friends also gathered in Dallas Thursday morning to honor the murdered officers, and to take part in a dedication ceremony for a new memorial in their honor. The memorial includes bronze plaques on stones, forming a circle around a flag pole.