Obama on Dallas: ‘Vicious, despicable, calculated attack on law enforcement’

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WARSAW, Poland -- President Barack Obama on Friday called the shootings of police officers in Dallas "a vicious, despicable and calculated attack on law enforcement."

Obama said he'd conveyed condolences to Dallas' mayor, and indicated the FBI was involved in investigating the shootings, which left 5 police officers dead.

"There's no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any attack on law enforcement," Obama said. "Anybody involved will be held accountable."

Obama was speaking from Warsaw, where he arrived early Friday for a summit of NATO leaders. His remarks came at the end of a session with the presidents of the European Council and European Commission, where Obama plotted a path forward after Britain's vote to exit the EU.

As soon as he arrived in Poland in the early morning hours Friday, Obama went to his hotel and delivered a statement about two police-involved shootings in the U.S. this week, saying the episodes reflected persistent racial disparity.

Citing statistics showing minorities are more likely to be pulled over, searched or shot at by police, Obama said it was incumbent on the country to aim for better -- including recognizing deep-seated biases that must be "rooted out."

"If communities are mistrustful of the police, that makes those law enforcement offers who are doing a great job, who are doing the right thing, that makes their lives harder," Obama said, insisting that recognizing problems within law enforcement doesn't equate to being anti-police.

"When people say 'black lives matter,' it doesn't mean that blue lives don't matter," Obama said, referring to police officers. "But right now, the data shows that black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents. There is a particular burden that is being placed on a group of our fellow citizens."

 

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