Presidents past and present joined forces in Dallas yesterday to honor the five fallen police officers, who were killed in the line of duty last Thursday. The officers were killed in a sniper ambush. At an interfaith memorial service in Dallas, both former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama talked about the struggles facing Americans – and its police officers. Also taking the podium were Senator John Cornyn, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
President Bush compared the killings of the officers to “five deaths in the family.” Bush called it a shocking, evil act. Bush and his wife, Laura, live in the Dallas area. Calling the city “grief-stricken and heartbroken,” Bush noted that the officers went where duty called and did not have a chance to say goodbye. To the families of the victims, the former President said, quote – “Your loss is unfair.”
As for Mr. Obama, he noted that the officers showed restraint and professionalism and saved lives when the bullets started flying – and said the officers were serving something larger than themselves.
- The President also noted racial divisions in the U.S. but insisted, quote – “We are not as divided as we seem.” He also stressed that as troubled as race relations have ever been, they have also improved dramatically.
- Obama added that if Americans cannot talk honestly with those who look different then dangerous cycles of racism and violence cannot be broken.
- He condemned any rhetoric calling for harm to police, arguing that it does a disservice to the cause of justice. He said the overwhelming majority of police officers are doing good work and are deserving of respect and not scorn.
The President said there is evil in the world and that is why police are needed. He also talked about guns. And in one of the more poignant moments during his speech, he referred to remarks made earlier by Dallas Police Chief David Brown. “We know what Chief Brown has said is true,” he offered. “So much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves.”
- To read the President’s remarks in their entirety, CLICK HERE.