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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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