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Dallas Police Chief Says Micah Johnson Was Planning Large Attack

The man who shot dead five police officers in Dallas and wounded seven more was planning an even larger attack, the city’s police chief says.

Micah Johnson, 25, was angry with the recent killings of black men by police and wanted to kill white officers, police say.

Police chief David Brown said he was “convinced” Johnson had wider plans. He told CNN that Johnson, a military veteran, appeared to have practised detonating explosives. Mr Brown also said police were trying to find the significance of the letters “RB” that Johnson had written in his own blood, near where he was killed by a remote detonation by police.

Officers were also reading a journal found in Johnson’s house that Mr Brown said was proving “hard to decipher”. Mr Brown also revealed that during two hours of negotiations last Thursday, the attacker taunted police. “He just basically lied to us – playing games, laughing at us, singing, asking how many [police officers] did he get and that he wanted to kill some more and that there were bombs there.” “So there was no progress on the negotiation… I began to feel that it was only at a split second he would charge us and take out many more before we could kill him,” Mr Brown added.

Johnson launched his attack in Dallas as a protest was taking place against the deaths of black men at the hands of police. The deaths of Philando Castile in St Paul, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last week led to more protests across US cities.

In Baton Rouge, up to 40 people were arrested on Sunday during a protest rally. Some of the demonstrators chanted “No justice, no peace!” during a stand-off with police in riot gear. In Virginia, protesters briefly shut down an interstate motorway in Portsmouth. They were marching in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In contrast to protesters in other parts of the country, the people of Dallas are uniting behind their police officers.

A makeshift shrine in memory of the five officers gunned down on Thursday night sprang up outside police headquarters in the Cedars district of the city within hours of the attack, and it is now a mass of flowers, balloons, stuffed toys and messages of sympathy.

Throughout the day, a constant stream of visitors have come here – black, white, Hispanic; young couples, elderly folk, little girls in sun dresses – to pay their respects, say a prayer or simply shed a tear.

An impromptu prayer session on the steps of police headquarters ended with hugs and a police officer breaking down in tears. Earlier, a mother was overheard telling her son it was up to his generation to make things better: “This generation tried, but soon it will be up to you,” she said.

Demonstrations have continued despite an effort by President Barack Obama to soothe the tension.

On a visit to Spain on Sunday, he demanded an end to anti-police violence. “Whenever those of us who are concerned about fairness in the criminal justice system attack police officers, you are doing a disservice to the cause,” he said. Also on Sunday, the White House said Mr Obama would travel to Dallas on Tuesday. He will speak at an interfaith memorial service.