Washington, DC – Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to investigate the involvement of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in investigating and responding to the recent shooting of Dallas police officers. In light of seemingly contradictory statements by Secretary Johnson and President Obama regarding the shooter’s motives, CoA Institute seeks to better understand if information is being withheld from the American public.

CoA Institute President and CEO, and former federal judge, Alfred J. Lechner, Jr.: “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.  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.”


On July 7, 2016, a gunman killed five police officers in Dallas, Texas.  On July 8, Chief David Brown held a press conference and stated that multiple suspects may be involved. Three suspects were ultimately taken into custody. Later the same day, Secretary Johnson contradicted initial reports by announcing that the gunman apparently acted alone. According to media reports, Secretary Johnson was the first public official to announce that the gunman was a sole actor.

Additionally, at a press conference on July 9, President Obama said that it is “very hard to untangle the motives” of the Dallas shooter.   He further stated, “I’ll leave that to psychologists and people who study these kinds of incidents . . . I think the danger is that we somehow suggest the act of troubled individuals speaks to some larger political statement across the country.”   President Obama’s statement that the motives of the gunman appear uncertain directly contradicts Dallas Police Chief David Brown’s description of the incident.  According to Chief Brown, the gunman stated that he “was upset about the recent police shootings…and he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”

CoA Institute requests documents and communications to better understand the role of DHS in the aftermath of the Dallas Shooting. The full FOIA request is available HERE.