President Obama On Baton Rouge Shooting: “Nothing Justifies Violence Against Police Officers”
In the wake of a Baton Rouge shooting that left three police officers dead, President Barack Obama took a stand in front of the American people once more to address the ongoing cycle of violence throughout the nation on Sunday (July 17).
Within the past two weeks, the president has addressed the back-to-back police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile before taking to his podium yet again to criticize the deadly attack on five Dallas cops.
Obama also discussed anti-police rhetoric and the Black Lives Matter movement during an ABC Town Hall last week, where he noted that flawed relationships between police officers and the communities they serve must be addressed before tragedy strikes.
President Obama, who is the self-proclaimed “Mr. Hope,” moves forward with his message of unity by condemning the actions of Gavin Long, the gunman responsible for the deaths of law enforcement officers Montrell Jackson, Brad Garafola and Matthew Gerald.
“We as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies violence against police officers,” Obama said during a White House press conference. “Attacks on police officers are attacks on all of us.”
In light of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions taking place this month, he also took the opportunity to challenge political figures and presidential candidates to use their platforms wisely by choosing their words and actions carefully.
“We don’t need inflammatory rhetoric. We don’t need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts ? all of us,” he continued.
To put an end to rampant violence, President Obama calls for a restoration in order and understanding. “For peace to work, we need to be reminded of its existence again and again and again,” he expressed. “Only we can prove that we have the grace and the character and the common humanity to end this kind of senseless violence to reduce fear and mistrust within the American family.”
Take a listen to the president’s full statement below: