Officer Brent Thompson is the first police officer identified out of the five that were killed during a protest rally ambush in Dallas Thursday night. According to DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit), Officer Thompson is the first officer to have been killed in the line of duty for their program since its inception in 1989.
DART grieving the loss of Ofc Brent Thompson, 43, killed during Thurs protest. First DART officer killed in line of duty. Joined DART 2009.
— dartmedia (@dartmedia) July 8, 2016
DART officials stated of Officer Thompson’s death:
“As you can imagine, our hearts are broken. This is something that touches every part of our organization.”
While details of the attack on the Dallas area police are still emerging, Officer Thompson was one of eleven police officers shot in the ambush, and he succumbed to his wounds. DART representatives stated in a press release that three other officers from DART were among the wounded with Thompson, but they were expected to survive, according to NBC Dallas Fort Worth. Those officers were listed by DART as Officer Omar Cannon, 44, Officer Misty McBride, 32, and Officer Jesus Retana, 39
Thursday night’s ambush of police came at the end of a peaceful protest regarding the recent police shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The graphic deaths of Sterling and Castile were caught on video and have re-ignited cries of racial inequality within the justice system and use of force issues with the police and African American citizens.
CNN is now reporting that one of the suspects involved in the rampage associated with the death of Officer Thompson and four others has yet to be identified. Three suspects are reportedly in custody.
In the wake of Officer Thompson’s death and the other police officer injuries and deaths, DART officials state that operations are currently closed. Friday’s DART operation is still being determined.
While it is unknown if the gunmen are associated with any specific group, multiple social media posts had been requesting retaliation against police officers over the past several days.
One day these Pigs gone kill the wrong African American and it won’t be no protest it’s gone to be an all out war “eye for an eye”
—…….. (@Frank__Grand) July 6, 2016
???????????? Die piggy die little piggy die die
Tell them devils that you working for it’s eye for an eye pic.twitter.com/PXZSWKcHw5
— Moreno (@Moreno) July 7, 2016
Officer Thompson joined the DART program in 2009. According to Brent Thompson’s LinkedIn profile, he normally patrolled the Northwest sector for DART. Officer Thompson’s previous experience included working as an International Police Liaison in Iraq for DynCorp. Thompson’s duties included training Afghan and Iraqi police officers in democratic policing skills.
Officer Thompson was one of several DynCorp contractors interviewed by the New York Times in 2006 in which Thompson stated that part of the training he and his colleagues provided included teaching Afghan military police how to survive an ambush. Ironically, it was an ambush style attack that would take Officer Thompson’s life and the lives of four of his police brethren.
Earlier in his career, Brent served as an instructor for Navarro Police Academy. Officer Thompson would have celebrated his forty-fourth birthday at the end of this month. According to social media accounts, Brent Thompson was a father and grandfather.
[Image by Ron Jenkins/Stringer/Getty Images.]