Springfield residents grapple with shootings of officers, black men

Much like the rest of the nation, Springfield residents tried to reconcile the deadly shooting in Dallas last night that left five police officers dead and followed the shooting of two black men earlier in the week by officers.

Springfield resident Susan Wright is concerned about the increasing prevalence of such incidents.

“It’s been happening for centuries, but now it’s more publicized and people are reacting … I don’t care the color. People are dying like flies,” Wright said. “It’s the life that matters to me.”

Springfield resident Dwane Badertscher said he was saddened by the attacks.

“For the simple reason that police officers are trying to do their job and we’ve got a bunch of … protesters out there making it look like the police are the problem,” Badertscher said.

He said that people need to listen when an officer makes an order.

“It is a simple compliance with the law,” he said. “I totally endorse law enforcement here.”

Springfield resident Cheryl Massey had a different take. She said she was upset about the shooting in Dallas.

“But I also feel that America has a lot to answer for and this might be backlash of perhaps what has happened in the past,” she said.

Law enforcement officers need to be without any biases, Massey said, and people need to understand that everyone has issues.

“Police officers are certainly human,” Massey said. “It wasn’t fair that (the shooter) took it out on the police officers, but we have to understand where his mindset might have been.”

Others blamed the constant media coverage.

“They broadcast this stuff to get the public upset,” said Josh Visga, a visitor from Huron, Mich. “They’re trying to pit everyone against each other.”

He claimed that officers are too quick to fire their weapons when they feel threatened. According to Visga, people need to maintain their composure to prevent similar events.

“They don’t have to shoot to kill, I think, 80 percent of the time. They need to stop doing that,” he said. “This is obviously upsetting the nation.”

Resident Judy Croucher was confident that the Springfield Police Division would keep the community safe.

“It would be handled properly, but I hope we never have to face that situation,” Croucher said.

She warned the public about the importance of being conscious of their surroundings.

“Anything that is unusual … report it,” Croucher said. “We have to be vigilant.”

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