Micah Johnson was rejected from a black militant group two years before he killed five police officers and wounded six others during a Dallas shooting spree.
The gunman had been sent home from Afghanistan and discharged from the U.S. Army in 2014 for stealing a female soldier’s underwear, and he became interested in black activist groups after the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, reported The Daily Beast.
He was loosely affiliated online with the African American Defense League, the Black Riders Liberation Party, the Huey P. Newton Gun Club and South Dallas’ Muhammad Mosque Number 48, which is linked to the Nation of Islam.
But he was prevented — and effectively shunned — from joining black nationalist and black liberation groups after a background check.
Johnson tried to become a member of the Collective Black People’s Movement, but an anonymous tipster from Oakland urged the Dallas-area organization to screen the former soldier.
The group found that Johnson had been discharged from the military for sexual harassment, and he was deemed “unfit for recruitment.”
That designation prevented him from joining similar groups around the U.S.
“Once you’re blacklisted by the alert that we put out, that’s a wrap,” said Ken Moore, of the CBPM.
He still attended protests and other events in the Dallas area, and other activists were familiar with him, but he apparently wasn’t an active member of any of the groups that organized the demonstrations.
“He was basically seen as a loner, a sympathizer,” Moore said.
Malik Shabazz, former chair of the New Black Panther Party, would not confirm or deny whether Johnson had tried to join the group, and other members of the group declined comment.
Makio Shakur, head of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, would not comment on Johnson’s ties to the group but condemned his actions.
“That’s not what we’re about,” he said. “We support the Second Amendment rights of all people, and will be there to defend them whether they are white, black, Hispanic, Asian — whatever.”
Johnson “liked” the Huey P. Newton Gun Club’s page on Facebook, and its members recognized him from community events, but its co-founder said he had no real ties to the group.
“We recognize his face in the community from being at certain functions,” said gun club co-founder Babu Omowale. “It’s just like somebody that you know and you see him at the grocery store five or six times during the week because they are part of the same community that you are a part of.”