Dallas sniper profile: Micah Johnson was sent home from Afghanistan

Army veteran who shot and killed five police officers was accused of sexual harassment by female soldier in 2014

The army veteran who shot and killed five police officers during a protest in Dallas on Friday had been sent home from Afghanistan after being accused of sexually harassing a fellow soldier.

Micah Xavier Johnson, who fatally shot five officers and wounded seven more before police killed him with a remote-controlled bomb, lived with family in the suburb of Mesquite, where he played basketball for hours at a time.

Friends said the 25-year-old didnt seem interested in politics, but his Facebook page shows he liked black militant groups including the African American Defense League and the New Black Panther Party, which was founded in Dallas.

His profile photo showed him wearing a dashiki and raising his fist over the words Black Power, and his cover shot carried the red, black and green Pan-African flag.

For six years starting in 2009, Johnson served in the army reserve as a private first class with a specialty in carpentry and masonry, the military said. In May 2014, six months into his Afghanistan tour, he was accused of sexual harassment by a female soldier.

The army sent him back to the US, recommending an other than honorable discharge, said Bradford Glendening, the military lawyer who represented him. That recommendation was highly unusual, Bradford said, since counselling is usually ordered before more drastic steps are taken.

In his case, it was apparently so egregious, it was not just the act itself, Glendening told the Associated Press.

According to a court filing Glendening read over the phone on Friday, the victim said she wanted Johnson to receive mental help, while also seeking a protective order to keep him away from her and her family, wherever they went. Johnson was ordered to avoid all contact with her.

Glendening said Johnson was set to be removed from the army in September 2014 because of the incident, but instead got an honorable discharge months later. Someone really screwed up, he said. But to my clients benefit.

When authorities searched Johnsons home on Friday they found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition, and a personal journal of combat tactics.

The Dallas police chief, David O Brown, said Johnson told negotiators before he was killed that he was acting alone and was unaffiliated with any group. The chief said Johnson cited the fatal shootings of black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, which prompted the protest march in Dallas and many other cities.

The suspect said he was upset with white people and wanted to kill white people, especially white officers, Brown said. Activists with Black Lives Matter, whose peaceful march police were guarding as he opened fire, repudiated the shootings, and it wasnt immediately clear if Johnson had any connection to the movement, which has disavowed violence.

But one of the groups Johnson liked on Facebook, the African American Defense League, posted a message earlier in the week encouraging violence against police in response to the killing in Louisiana.

The Pig has shot and killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana! You and I know what we must do and I dont mean marching, making a lot of noise, or attending conventions. We must Rally The Troops! It is time to visit Louisiana and hold a barbecue.

The message was attributed to Dr Mauricelm-Lei Millere, a leader in the organisation.

Another group Johnson liked was the New Black Panther Party, whose leaders have long expressed virulently anti-white and antisemitic opinions, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Johnson also liked the Nation of Islam and the Black Riders Liberation Party, which the center describes as hate groups.

Among Johnsons other social media likes were groups that focus on the history and accomplishments of African-Americans, such as Black Love Matters, the Nubian Rootz Cultural Center, and I Love Black Archaeologist, a web series whose main character uses a time machine to visit famous black people.

The Dallas police department said Johnsons Facebook account also included information about Richard Griffin, also known as Professor Griff, who embraces a radical form of Afrocentrism.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/09/dallas-shooting-more-details-emerge-about-micah-xavier-johnson

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