President Barack Obama on Friday characterized the killing of five police officers in Dallas as a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”
“Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices that they make for us,” he said. “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’re going to have to consider those realities as well.”
Obama made the remarks in Warsaw, Poland, before speaking about his meetings with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
OBAMA: Good morning, everybody. Let me begin by thanking Presidents Tusk and Juncker for the opportunity to meet today. With your understanding, I want to begin with a few words about the situation back in the United States, specifically the situation in Dallas, Texas.
My team has been keeping me updated throughout the morning of the evening in Dallas. 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, undoubtedly, 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 that 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.