Remembering Officer Patrick Zamarripa: A Paschal teammate's tribute
The father of Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa — a Fort Worth native who was one of five officers killed in downtown Dallas in July — is suing Black Lives Matter, among other groups, alleging that its organizers incited a “War on Police” that led to his son’s death.
Enrique Zamarripa filed a 43-page lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Monday, seeking damages of up to $550 million.
“While Defendant Black Lives Matter claims to combat anti-black racism,” the lawsuit said, “the movement has in fact incited and committed further violence, severe bodily injury and death against police officers of all races and ethnicities, Jews, and Caucasians. Defendant Black Lives Matter is in fact a violent and revolutionary criminal gang.”
Patrick Zamarripa, 32, was working on bicycle patrol the night of July 7, when hundreds marched through downtown Dallas, protesting the recent shootings of African-Americans by police.
Toward the end of the march, a sniper, Micah Johnson, opened fire, ambushing the crowd and killing five police officers — four from the Dallas Police Department, including Zamarripa, and one from the DART Police Department.
Zamarripa, a graduate of Paschal High School in Fort Worth, had become a police officer after serving three tours of duty in Iraq.
His father’s lawsuit does not name the Next Generation Action Network, which helped organize the July 7 protest, or its leaders as defendants. But it includes a long list of other activists:
Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam; Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network; Black Lives Matter organizers Rashad Turner, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Deray McKesson and Johnetta Elzie; Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panthers Party; and George Soros, a supporter of Black Lives Matter.
Enrique Zamarripa’s lawsuit claims that Johnson, the Dallas shooter, was “acting as an agent of and at and under the direction of” the defendants.
The organizers of the Dallas protest, Denton Rev. Jeff Hood and NGAN founder Dominique Alexander, denied knowing Johnson.
Zamarripa is being represented by Washington, D.C., attorney Larry E. Klayman of the Freedom Watch group. Earlier this year, Klayman filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton on behalf of two men who were killed in the Benghazi, Libya, attack in 2012.
Klayman and the defendants couldn’t be reached Monday night, but Zamarripa, who lives in Saginaw, was reached by phone.
“I want justice for my son,” he said. “He served three tours in Iraq, he protected his country, and he protected everybody. And he gave up his life doing that. When people were running away from the gunshots, he was running toward them.”
Alexander, the NGAN founder, said Monday night that he remains “prayerful” for Zamarripa’s family, but he was frustrated by the lawsuit.
The protest in July, he said, was organized in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, but it wasn’t arranged by the official BLM organization.
“You’re suing somebody who had nothing to do with this rally,” Alexander said. “The only thing this [lawsuit] has done is continue to feed the rhetoric. There is a problem in America, and we have to come together to address it.”