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Statement by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson on the Incident in Garland, Texas

Release Date: 
May 4, 2015

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

Law enforcement authorities continue to investigate the deceased assailants’ motives and all the circumstances surrounding the attack last night in Garland, Texas. At this point it does seem clear that an officer of the Garland Police Department acted quickly and decisively and thereby likely saved a number of innocent lives. We are also relieved to hear that the one security officer who was wounded last night did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

While all the facts are not in yet, last night’s attack serves as a reminder that free and protected speech, no matter how offensive to some, never justifies violence of any sort. This attack also underscores the importance of close collaboration between federal, state and local authorities in our Nation’s homeland security efforts, as well as public awareness and vigilance. Initial word of the planned program at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland was passed from local law enforcement and the community to federal authorities days before the event, and the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI were then able to disseminate information about the planned event to law enforcement and first responders across the country. 

Finally, in reaction to last night’s attack, we urge that members of the public not misdirect anger and suspicion at people simply because of their religious faith. The strengths and heritage of this Nation include our racial, religious and ethnic pluralism, and our acceptance and inclusiveness of others different from ourselves. 

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Last Published Date: May 4, 2015
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