Why Are Dallas Police Linking the Shooter to Rap Group “Public Enemy”?

An update on the suspected attacker talks about the group’s co-founder “Professor Griff.”

Professor Griff and Chuck D at a Public Enemy concert in 2006.<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Dnik">Dnik</a>/Wikimedia Commons

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In a press release late Friday, the Dallas Police Department provided details about their investigation into the gunman in Thursday’s mass shooting, 25-year-old Micah Johnson, a local resident and former soldier who served in Afghanistan. They said that a search of Johnson’s home revealed “bomb making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition, and a personal journal of combat tactics.” Strangely, the Dallas PD included a couple of select details about Johnson’s Facebook account:

The suspect’s Facebook account included the following names and information: Fahed Hassen, Richard GRIFFIN aka Professor Griff, GRIFFIN embraces a radical form of Afrocentrism, and GRIFFIN wrote a book A Warriors Tapestry.

It is unclear why the Dallas PD chose to include this information regarding Griffin, who was a member of the seminal 1980s rap group Public Enemy. The press release contained no further context about it.

Johnson’s Facebook page (which is no longer available online) reportedly contained a photo of Johnson posing with Griffin, who quickly took to Twitter to say that he had no relationship with the attacker.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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