The Transcript Of Obama's Dallas Shooting Comments Shows That Americans Must Stand United With Police
Just one day after addressing the nation from Warsaw, Poland, on the recent police killings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, President Obama was back at the podium. This time Obama was addressing the Dallas sniper attacks against police during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest Thursday. Marchers were chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot," when shots began to ring out from several angles — all aimed at police officers. At a two-day NATO conference Friday morning, Obama called the attack a "vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement."
Five officers were killed and seven were injured in the attack in Dallas Thursday evening — several of whom remain at Baylor University Medical Center. In his prior comments Thursday, Obama addressed police safety — eerily recognizing the danger and sacrifices police face in the line of duty just hours before Dallas Police Department and Dallas Area Rapid Transit officers would be gunned down while protecting protesters. "To all of law enforcement, I want to be very clear: we know you have a tough job. We mourn those in uniform who are protecting us who lose their lives," Obama said Thursday. Who would have known the comments would be so prescient.
Obama continued to address the nation's police in his comments Friday. Here's the transcript of Obama's remarks:
I spoke this morning with Mayor Rawlings of Dallas to convey the deepest condolences of the American people. I told him that the federal government will provide whatever assistance Dallas may need as it deals with this tremendous tragedy.
We still don’t know all the facts. What we do know is that there has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. Police in Dallas were on duty doing their jobs, keeping people safe, during peaceful protests. These law enforcement officers were targeted and nearly a dozen officers were shot. Five were killed. Other officers and at least one civilian were wounded, some are in serious condition and we are praying for their recovery.
As I told Mayor Rawlings, I believe that I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas.
According to police there are multiple suspects. We will learn more about their twisted motivations, but let’s be clear there is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement. The FBI is already in touch with the Dallas Police and anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.
I will have more to say about this as the facts become more clear. For now, let me just say that even as yesterday, I spoke about our need to be concerned as all Americans, about racial disparities in our criminal justice system. I also said yesterday our police have an extraordinarily difficult job and the vast majority of them do their job in outstanding fashion.
I also indicated the degree to which we need to be supportive of those officers who do their job each and every day, protecting us and protecting our communities. Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices that they make for us. We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic. And in the days ahead we are going to have to consider those realities as well. In the meantime — today — our focus is on the victims and their families. They are heartbroken. The entire city of Dallas is grieving.
Police across America – it’s a tight-knit family – feels this loss to their core, and we are grieving with them. I'd ask all Americans to say a prayer for these officers and their families, keep them in your thoughts. And as a nation, let’s remember to express our profound gratitude to our men and women in blue, not just today, but every day.