One year after the Dallas shooting at a protest over the police killings of two Black men, the man initially mistaken as the suspect is speaking out about how that night has affected him.
“The first thing that came to my mind was they’re going to kill me out here,” Mark Hughes, owner of a snowcone stand, tells NBCDFW Wednesday, July 5, of how he felt when he learned he was deemed a suspect. “I was angry. I was frightened. I feared for my life. I was confused and didn’t know what to do.”
The July 7, 2016, protest in downtown Dallas was in response to the police shooting deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling days earlier and things turned chaotic when a gunman opened fire, killing five police officers and injured nine others. The shooter was later identified as Army veteran Micah Johnson.
In the aftermath, Hughes said he was threatened with notes that called him a “cop killer” and his five children were forced to stay with relatives. Although the threats have since stopped, he is still upset about how things were handled. Now, he’s trying to rebuild his local image and get back to being known for his activism.
“The best thing I can do is be a voice for the community,” he says. “Show my face and let them know I’m not walking around with my head down. I’m a man that’s trying to make a living and provide for my family like any other person.”