As tensions mount in the wake of the attack on Dallas Police Department officers patrolling a Black Lives Matter protest that killed five and left another seven wounded, reports of law enforcement officers coming under fire around the country are stoking fears and increasing danger.

Following the deaths of two African-American men during interactions with police, largely peaceful marches were seen in many large cities, including New York, Detroit, and Atlanta, where anywhere from dozens to thousands turned out to demonstrate.

Protests in Minneapolis and New Orleans, Louisiana, near the communities where the incidents occurred, as well as St. Louis and Baltimore, where previous BLM protests have turned violent were watched carefully, but it was in Dallas, toward the end of the uneventful march when the crack of rifle fire sent the crowd running for cover and officers running toward the shooter.

Ironically, the Dallas Police Department has built a national reputation for diversity and excellent community relations.

The shooter, a 25-year-old African-American, told police negotiators that he “hated whites,” “hated cops” and “wanted to kill cops, especially white ones.”

In the days that have followed, police have been shot in Georgia, Missouri, and Tennessee, in some cases after being drawn into ambush when responding to bogus calls to 911 for assistance.

On Saturday, the war against law enforcement officers spread to Alabama when a sheriff’s deputy was shot twice during a hostage crisis apparently arising from a domestic dispute.

The deputy exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was killed, but the hostage was unharmed.

The unidentified deputy is expected to recover from his injuries.

The Black Lives Matter movement emerged after racially charged events drew widespread publicity, but the group’s trademark chants, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” and “Pigs in a blanket – fry ‘em like bacon” focused on targeting all law enforcement officers for attack, rather than any legitimate concerns.

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