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Hidden Panties And Explosives: Army Releases Bizarre Details About Dallas Shooter

Micah Johnson, who authorities have identified as the shooter who killed five law enforcement officers in Dallas on July 7 during a protest over recent fatal police shootings of black men.
Micah Johnson, who authorities have identified as the shooter who killed five law enforcement officers in Dallas on July 7 during a protest over recent fatal police shootings of black men.

Three weeks after authorities identified 25-year-old Micah Johnson as the shooter who killed five policemen in Dallas, the military has released new details about his bizarre behavior while serving in Afghanistan.

According to a 2014 military investigation, Johnson stole underwear from an unnamed female service member and repeatedly sexually harassed her. In his sleeping bag, the military found grenade launcher ammunition and prescription medication belonging to a fellow soldier.

As NPR's Howard Berkes told our Newscast unit, "There's nothing in newly released Army documents that indicates a motive for the deadly ambush in Dallas. But there are more details about the sexual harassment charges leveled by a fellow soldier."

These documents (with portions redacted) were released late Friday after a Freedom of Information Act request by NPR and other news organizations.

The military concluded that Johnson took four pairs of underwear from a female soldier's laundry bag from an unsecured vehicle, which were found in his room during an inspection. He then fled without "credible explanation," carrying the undergarments.

Most of the pairs were found in a nearby dumpster. Johnson claimed they were given to him by another woman. But the female soldier identified them, according to the report: "She immediately began crying and stated they were in fact hers."

After the incident, Johnson was relocated within Afghanistan to Bagram Airfield. The military launched an investigation. The female soldier told investigators that she and Johnson had been "friends" for five years and had met each other's families, but had recent disagreements. She said Johnson had made "crude comments" in a "sexual manner," including asking for a pair of her underwear. She told him no.

"After the theft of her underwear, [redacted] began to reconsider all of [Private First Class] Johnson's past behavior," the report stated. "Based upon the recent incident of my underwear being stolen, I consider all of PFC Johnson's previous comments and actions as sexual harassment," the female soldier said in the report.

The military concluded that stealing a fellow soldier's undergarments "do not constitute any of the categories or types of sexual harassment" detailed in Army Command Policy. But his preceding interactions with the soldier do constitute sexual harassment and "contribute to a Hostile Environment", the military investigation concluded.

While soldiers were packing up Johnson's room, they found the grenade round and another soldier's prescription medication hidden in his sleeping bag. Johnson stated that he "was not aware of any prescription medication or explosive devices inside of my belongings." The report said that "[Redacted] did not give PFC Johnson permission to take the medication" and "PFC Johnson did not have any reason to be in possession [of] the explosive device."

As we have reported, Johnson served in the Army Reserve from March 2009 to April 2015, and was deployed to Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014.

The investigation's recommendations are redacted. You can read them in full below. As Howard has reported:

"He was sent home early two years ago after a sexual harassment allegation. His own attorney said the Army let Johnson off easy with an honorable discharge. Johnson's accuser said he needed psychological help."

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Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.