US President Barack Obama said America is “horrified” by a targeted shooting of police officers in Dallas, and that there is no justification for the violence.
“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,” Mr Obama said in a brief statement to reporters.
He called the shooters’ motives “twisted” and vowed that “justice will be done”.
“There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement,” he said.
Mr Obama spoke with Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings and offered his support and condolences. He said the FBI is also in contact with Dallas police.
He spoke from Warsaw, Poland, where he is meeting with Nato and EU leaders. He arrived early yesterday shortly before the snipers opened fire, killing five police officers and injuring seven others during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men.
Immediately after landing in Warsaw, and before the shootings, Mr Obama made a point of expressing solidarity with protesters. In a hastily arranged statement to reporters, he called on Americans to do more to fight injustice and racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
The remarks appeared aimed at ensuring Mr Obama did not appear to be withdrawn from the roiling public debate over police brutality. The president has acknowledged becoming out of touch with the public mood during past foreign travels and seemed determined not to let that happen this week.
In this case, Mr Obama also proved to be grimly attuned to the potential for violence directed at police and criticism that the protesters were hostile toward law enforcement.
There’s no contradiction between supporting law enforcement and working to see that biases in the justice system are rooted out, Mr Obama said. “So when people say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter,” he said, referring to police.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved