Hartford police, leaders, activists respond to shooting of offic - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford police, leaders, activists respond to shooting of officers in Dallas

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Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department responds to the Dallas shooting. (WFSB photo) Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department responds to the Dallas shooting. (WFSB photo)

Officers and troopers from around the state have been responding to the sniper shooting of nearly a dozen officers in Dallas.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department scheduled a news conference for around 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

"This is a disastrous, tragic day," he said. "At the end of the day, we don't know if this will change things." 

Foley said the department will not operate out of fear.

"We're not scared of our citizens," he said. "We are with them, we are communicating with them. We are calm and we are centered."

Foley was asked about Dallas Police Chief David Brown's comments where Brown said most days, his officers don't feel like they have support.

"There are some things that happen out there that make you feel like you don't have the support," Foley said. "But when you dig down deep, you do see the support out there."

Foley called the morning "raw."

"We all need to catch our breath and heal," he posted to Twitter. "Please be calm, please be peaceful. We will continue to protect and serve our great city."

Foley said police will be meeting with community leaders later in the day on Friday.

"The outreach that we have gotten [Friday morning], from our biggest critics, has been amazing," he said. 

Foley said a protest that took place in Hartford Thursday night was amazingly peaceful.

"Not at one point was any cop in fear during that protest," he said.

Foley said at least 10 of the people involved in the protests were his friends and that reflected on the kind of relationships the department has with some of its critics.

That being said, Foley said the department was "painfully aware of what happened in Dallas." However, he said at this point it looked like, at least he was praying it was, an isolated incident. 

After his press conference, there was a closed door meeting between Hartford police and community leaders. The meeting included one that included those who, at times, protest against officers.

"Against the police, yes...they understand that as an American citizen, you have the right to voice your opinion," Rev. Henry Brown said. 

Brown has been on the front line of many protests and said the relationship with local police has always been cordial. 

"The police have assisted us in everything we do," Brown said. 

Foley said seeing the officers in Dallas run toward the gunfire to protect protesters made him proud to be a cop.

"A Hartford cop for that matter," he said. "Every single one of the 400 brothers and sisters I stand behind would do the exact same thing today for the exact same protesters here in the city." 

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin called the shooting in Dallas a "planned, premeditated mass murder." 

“It was an act of unspeakable evil and inhumanity. As mayor, I want our police officers and their families to know that we, as a Hartford community, are grateful for their service and committed to their safety," Bronin said in a statement on Friday.  

Bronin said the country needs "to stand together as a country and as a community, committed to building trust, fighting fear, and ending senseless violence of every kind.”

"As a nation, we need to acknowledge, understand and address the profound powerlessness and fear that too many of our fellow citizens feel in their own communities. But heartbreaking violence cannot be met with greater horror, senseless taking of life met with premeditated murder," Bronin said.  

Five officers were killed and seven others were hurt in what police called a sniper ambush-style attack at a protest in Dallas Thursday night. Two civilians were also hurt.

One suspect was killed.

Police said they took three others into custody.

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