The entire nation has watched with bated breath since snipers opened fire on a protest against police-involved shootings in Dallas yesterday evening. Officials believe that multiple snipers were involved in the attack. Tragically, five police officers, who were maintaining the peace at the event, lost their lives as a result of sniper fire. Several other officers were also injured.
A report from USA Today highlighted President Obama’s address to the nation concerning the mass shooting. The president had words of condemnation for the snipers and called the attack a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”
He went on to say, “I believe I speak for every single American when I say we are horrified over these events, and we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 8, 2016
Obama also told reporters and the public alike that he had already spoken with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, offering him federal assistance and support along with his sincere condolences.
The police department in Dallas has confirmed that at least five officers are dead as a result of the attack and an additional six officers are injured. The sniper attack took place in downtown Dallas and put at risk the lives of a large number of civilian citizens who were on the street when the attack took place.
Police obviously moved quickly to seek suspects. One suspect shot himself after being surrounded by police. Authorities have arrested three other suspects who were believed to be involved in the attack.
“We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations, but let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these types of attacks,” Obama said. “Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.”
President Obama has called on American citizens to do more about violence in the criminal justice system and police-involved shootings. He also admonished lax gun laws, which he believes play a role in the level of violence in the United States.
“We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, it makes shootings like this more deadly and more tragic,” he said.
The president also confirmed that his immediate concern was for the police officers and their families, saying, “Today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they make for us.”
Obama, who has been closely monitoring the scene and staying connected with key players in the incident, went on to say, “They are heartbroken. The entire city of Dallas is grieving. Police across America, which is a tight-knit family, feels this loss to their core. And we’re grieving with them.”
Obama renews gun control push after 'senseless' Dallas murder https://t.co/vPGoFDzks0
????Can't keep politics out of a crisis – pathetic
— Tex for Trump (@BigStick2013) July 8, 2016
Twice in as many days, the president has addressed policing issues. Obama is attending a two-day NATO summit with leaders of the military alliance, and while there, the evolving situation in Dallas commanded his attention. Not long before the NATO summit, the president met with European Council President Donald Tusk and European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss the impact the UK’s vote to leave the European Union would have on the rest of the continent.
Just after arriving at the summit and shortly before the Dallas protest erupted, the president affirmed that all Americans should be troubled by the videotaped police shootings of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this week. Even during that statement, Obama was very careful to acknowledge the sacrifice of police officers as well.
“There are times when these incidents occur, and you see protests and you see vigils. And I get letters — well-meaning letters sometimes — from law enforcement saying, how come we’re under attack? How come not as much emphasis is made when police officers are shot?”
Acknowledging this concern, the president said, “And so, to all law enforcement, I want to be very clear: We know you have a tough job. We mourn those in uniform who were protecting us who lose their lives. On a regular basis, I have joined with families in front of Capitol Hill to commemorate the incredible heroism they’ve displayed. I’ve hugged family members who lost loved ones doing the right thing. I know how much it hurts.”
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 8, 2016
It remains to be seen how the tragic events of this week will play out in the coming months. One thing is for certain: It is not just the people in Dallas who are mourning today. People all over the United States have expressed condolences and heartbreak over yesterday’s events, and it’s unlikely that pain will dissipate anytime soon.
[Photo by Susan Walsh/AP Images]