SALT LAKE CITY — See people as people and end divisiveness.
That was the message from two local law enforcement leaders early Friday, hours after a shootout between police and suspected snipers in Dallas that resulted in the deaths of five officers and injury of seven others.
Police detained three suspects; a fourth was slain by police in a parking garage after back-and-forth gunfire between the suspect and police.
Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown and Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder talked with KSL about how law enforcement officials are reacting locally to the events that took place in Dallas late Thursday.
"It is hard to hate up close. Let's have these hard conversations up close, not on the streets." @ChiefMikeBrown pic.twitter.com/RARXSqdIoT— Salt Lake City Police (@slcpd) July 8, 2016
"They don't question whether or not to put this uniform on — they go call to call to call," Brown told KSL Friday morning.
The interview came minutes after after Dallas Police Chief David Brown announced that one suspect told police he was upset about recent shootings and wanted to kill white people, specifically officers.
Winder said it is important for people to look past appearances and assumptions.
"If we isolate this conversation about law enforcement only then we are missing the point," Winder said. "When you create an environment in which people think it’s OK to kill people because of the clothes they wear — whether it’s a Muslim, whether it’s a Jewish religious garb or its a police uniform — when you vilify and dehumanize somebody, that is a cultural problem.
"I think we have all woken up this morning and thought '...What have we wrought?'" said Winder. "I think this is a time nationally to re-evaluate how we communicate. That’s what I think.”
The Salt Lake police chief expressed the importance of face to face communication as a society to help people come together.
"Divisiveness has to end," said Brown, "it's hard to hate up close."
Contributing: Associated Press