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Lewiston Police Chief Reacts to the Targeting of Dallas Officers Ahead of His New Job in Texas

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation are joining civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials and others in condemning the sniper attacks that killed five police officers and wounded seven others in Dallas Thursday during a protest over fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota this week.

Maine Senator Susan Collins says she’s troubled by the appalling violence in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota. In a written statement she said “we must find ways to rebuild trust in our communities and work to ensure that all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin, feel protected and safe.”

Senator Angus King said the “horrific incidents” underline the urgent need to address the issue of deadly force frequently directed at African American men. But he says vengeance cannot and must not be part of the solution.

Maine police showed solidarity with law enforcement officers in Dallas by promoting an image of Texas with a thin blue line on social media. And Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere, who is planning to start a new police job in the city of Richardson, which borders Dallas, says he’s hoping to attend some of the funerals. Once the grieving is over, Bussiere says the nation can focus on next steps.

“We need to look later on when things settle down as to what changes need to be done and what types of community dialog need to happen to make these things less likely,” Bussiere says.

Even before the Dallas police shootings a vigil had been planned in Monument Square Friday evening to honor the latest victims of racial violence. That vigil is scheduled for 7:00 pm.