Officials at the Cause of Action Institute, a nonprofit government oversight group, are seeking documents they believe may show the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is withholding vital information about the Dallas shooter from the public.
Micah Johnson killed five police officers in Dallas July 7 before police killed him with a bomb delivered by a robot. (RELATED: Police Blow Up Dallas Suspect With Robot Bomb)
“Statements about the shootings by President Obama and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson raise questions about the DHS role in responding to the Dallas shooting and whether there is information about the shooter being withheld from the public,” said the group’s president and CEO, former federal judge Alfred J. Lechner, in a statement.
“Because Secretary Johnson appears to be the first public official to confirm that only one shooter existed, it raises questions as to what extent DHS was involved during the aftermath of the shooting and why local authorities were not first in alerting the public.”
“Additionally, discrepancies between statements by President Obama and the Dallas police chief raise concerns that there may be additional information about the motives of the gunman that are being withheld from the public by the Obama administration,” Lechner continued.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown initially said multiple suspects were involved on July 8 and that three were taken into custody, but the DHS secretary contradicted those reports later that day, announcing Micah Johnson acted alone.
“Johnson was the first public official to announce that the gunman was a sole actor,” the group’s FOIA request says, citing a Weekly Standard article. “Because Secretary Johnson appears to be the first public official to confirm that only one shooter existed, it raises questions as to what extent DHS was involved during the aftermath of the shooting and why local authorities were not first in alerting the public.”
Obama said the gunman’s motives were unclear, while Brown said the shooter “was upset about the recent police shootings … and he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” (VIDEO: DHS Secretary: ‘It’s Still Relatively Early’ To Call Dallas Attack A Hate Crime)
“The discrepancy between the two statements raises concerns that there may be additional information about the motives of the gunman that are being withheld from the public by the Obama Administration,” Cause of Action Institute said in its FOIA request.
The group seeks July 7 communication records for the DHS Office of the Secretary and the DHS Office for State and Local Enforcement sent to or received from the Executive office of the President, the Dallas police department, the Dallas Mayor’s office, the Texas Governor’s office and the Department of Justice.
Cause of Action Institute is also seeking internal communications records from the two DHS offices regarding the Dallas shooter, as well as all records regarding the gunman since January 1, 2015.