Rev. Jesse Jackson joined community activists and city officials Friday to condemn Thursday's shooting in Dallas and call for an "aggressive and sweeping campaign" by the federal government to end police-involved violence.
"We want to express our fervent prayers and deepest condolences to the families of the slain Dallas police officers," Jackson said Friday. "Attacking the officers was a cowardly and insane act of terrorism and in no way represents anything about our long struggle for peace and justice for all."
Jackson pushed for a White House conference on violence, poverty, racial disparities and a plan for reconstruction, noting that killings in Chicago haven't received the same amount of attention as recent mass shootings, like Sandy Hook and Orlando.
"Our lives really do matter," Jackson said.
Jackson insisted that the plot to kill police officers in Dallas does not reflect the push for justice in the wake of the police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Sterling was shot and killed by police at a Baton Rouge gas station Tuesday. Castile was shot and killed by police Wednesday during a routine traffic stop in Minnesota. Both men were reportedly carrying firearms.
The killings, which were both videotaped, have created a great deal of backlash throughout the country, much like the videotaped killings of Trayvon Martin and Chicagoan Laquan McDonald.
In Dallas, protesters were peacefully demonstrating for justice in those cases when shots rang out and it became clear that officers were under fire. All told, five officers were killed in Dallas. Seven other officers were injured.
"Keep marching," Jackson said. "Don't give up the moral high ground of non-violent marching."
Rev. Jackson was joined at Rainbow PUSH headquarters by Urban League president Shari Runner and Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, among others.
Boykin said he was formulating a set of demands alongside Jackson that will be given to Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state legislature. The plan will deal with violence, poverty and racial disparities.
"The persistent problem of the 21st century is that of color," Boykin said. "That is an indictment on all of America and we must do something about this."
Runner called for police accountability and a stop to the violence.
"The point of all of this is what's been taking place with black men around the country at the hands of police officers," Runner said. "This is not OK. This has to stop; there has to be accountability."
"We must have equal protection under the law and we cannot feel threatened by the law that is there to protect us."