On Friday, President Barack Obama denounced the Dallas police ambush that killed five police officers and wounded another six—the deadliest incident against US police officials since September 11—as a “vicious, calculated, and despicable attack on law enforcement.”
“We are horrified over these events, and we stand united with the people and police department in Dallas,” Obama said. “But let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement.”
The president, who was in Poland for the NATO summit, spoke from Warsaw and vowed that justice would be served. He also said the attack in Dallas once again highlighted the need for increased gun control.
“We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately, it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic,” he said. “In the days ahead, we’re going to have to consider those realities as well.”
Obama’s comments come amid the national uproar over the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two black men whose fatal shootings by police officers were filmed. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Obama addressed the shootings and the racial disparities in the American criminal justice system.
“To admit that we’ve got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day,” he wrote in the post.