Before a sniper attack killed 5 police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas on Thursday, the city’s police department shared photos and videos on social media that suggested support for the demonstrators.
In one photo, two smiling officers can be seen posing with a man holding a sign reading, “No Justice No Peace.”
It’s unclear if either of the officers were among those wounded or killed.
Other images show police controlling traffic “to ensure the safety of the demonstrators.”
And numerous photos and videos illustrated that the protests, which took place in response to the police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota on Wednesday, were entirely peaceful.
Photographer Lynn Mays told The Huffington Post that one officer, whose identity he did not know, pushed him out of the way of the gunfire.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings hailed the department for their positive relationship with the community in a Friday morning press conference, Buzzfeed reports.
“We’re one of the premier community policing cities in the country and this year we have the fewest police officer-related shootings than any large city in America,” he said.
Those community relations may have been drastically improved in recent years by initiatives to train police in de-escalation. The department attributes a sharp drop in complaints of officers using excessive force largely to this training.
This article has been updated after a post on social media was deleted by the user.