WASHINGTON - The United States finds itself beginning a new work week Monday after enduring a week of violence - two police shootings of African American men at point-blank range in Louisiana and Minnesota and the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, at what was a peaceful demonstration against alleged police brutality.
Police in Dallas say gunman Micah Xavier Johnson had plans to deliver more destruction in Dallas.
"We're convinced that this suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to target law enforcement -- make us pay for what he saw as law enforcement's efforts to punish people of color," Police Chief David Brown said.
Dallas police were able to cut short Johnson's plans when the department used a robot to deliver a bomb into the garage where Johnson was holed up. Brown told CNN, "We believe that we saved lives by making this decision" to use a robot to kill Johnson.
Bomb-making materials and a rambling journal were found at Johnson's home during a search.
"The materials were such that it was large enough to have devastating effects throughout or city and our North Texas area," Brown said.
No criminal record
U.S. law enforcement officials said Johnson did not have a criminal record.
In an emailed statement, the U.S. Army said Johnson was a carpentry and masonry specialist during his time in the service from March 2009 to April 2015. He was deployed to Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014.
Johnson left Afghanistan when a fellow soldier brought sexual harassment charges against him, saying he needed mental health counseling.
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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Sunday in a televised interview he believed Johnson was mentally ill.
Johnson's shoot-out Thursday night with the police in Dallas was triggered, many believe, by police shootings earlier in the week that ended with the deaths of two black men. Johnson was also black.
Baton Rouge, Minnesota incidents
Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, cell phone footage showed police shooting 37-year-old Alton Sterling at point-blank range as he was being held down by two police officers. Sterling was armed, but video shows what appears to be a gun removed from his pocket before the lethal shots were fired.
Wednesday evening in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, the fiancée of Philando Castile managed to livestream on her private Facebook account just seconds after a police officer shot Castile several times after pulling them over for a broken tail light. Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter were in the car when the officer opened fire. Reynolds, who was driving the car, said the officer had been informed Castile had a permit to carry a gun and was reaching for identification when the officer fired several shots from just outside the passenger side window.
Obama calls for respect
President Barack Obama has called on Americans to mutually respect fellow citizens, after the recent days of violence.
"Maintaining a truthful and serious and respectful tone is going to help mobilize American society to bring about real change and that is our ultimate objective," Obama said Sunday.
"I would like all sides to listen to each other," Obama said in reference to protestors such as those involved with the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and police organizations throughout the U.S.
Obama said violence against police by anyone concerned about fairness in the criminal justice system does "a disservice to the cause." The president plans to visit Dallas Tuesday and deliver remarks at a memorial service.
Demonstrations have been held in many cities across the country in recent days with some confrontations between protesters and police, as well as numerous arrests.