Wednesday morning thousands gathered to honor three of the five victims of the shooting that occurred last week in Dallas, Texas.

The funeral was held in the memory of Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Dallas Police Sgt. Michael Smith and Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson. Thompson was a newlywed, and would receive a separate funeral later on Wednesday. Service for Officer Patrick Zamarripa will be held on Saturday, while Officer Michael Krol’s funeral is still pending.

Dallas Police Funeral. Credit: Boston Globe.

A sad episode on the U.S.’s racial discrimination crisis

Police officers in their formal attire visited the memorial held at The Potter’s House, a popular church whose clergy’s main authority is Bishop T.D. Jakes. Officers from the New York Police Department also attended the celebration, along police officers from all over the United States.

Since Tuesday night, Dallas police have buried their five slain colleagues, one funeral following the other in quick and numbing succession. Many remembered the events of September 11, the only event that ended up in a larger number of law enforcement officials as victims.

It was Micah Xavier Johnson, an ex-Army reserve deployed to Afghanistan, who became the protagonist of the shooting, arguing that he was “upset” with the American system of justice and wanted to “kill white people, especially white officers.”

The grim aftermath of Johnson’s assault has filled The Potter’s House with mourning and caskets wrapped in an American flag. Bouquets filled the scene along with tissue boxes as the procession developed.

Rev. Michael D. Forge contributed some words to the celebration: “Love is a choice. Unfortunately, and more and more of late, some people are using their free will to choose hate. That’s what we saw last Thursday night in Dallas, someone who chose hate.”

Father Forge remembered Sgt. Smith and his 30 years of career, claiming that he truly went with the call to serve and defend. Sgt. Smith will receive another service on Thursday, in the church where he worked as a security guard. Smith was credited with the “Cops’ Cop” award. He was married, and his wife Emily is also a police officer. She stated that no matter what, she would wear her police badge and uniform to keep on serving with her head up.

In the case of Officer Brent Thompson, fellow policemen wore black bands on their badges, while his family wore blue ribbons and ties. Thompson’s daughters said goodbye to their father, stating that he had been their hero, covering two jobs plus overtime to sustain his family. Although he had served in Afghanistan, missing birthdays and other events, his daughters remembered that he always came back home safe and sound for Christmas. Thompson was remembered by Pastor Rick Lamb as a fearless public servant. He played guitar for his children and frequently read the bible.

President Obama is expected to greet police officers at the White House on Wednesday, thus becoming the second event of its kind this week. These meetings have the purpose of finding solutions and to share proactive points of view to tackle the ongoing issue of civilian distrust and create stronger bonds among American communities.

Source: Wall Street Journal