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Obama: 'Nothing justifies violence against law enforcement'

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President Obama: Nothing Justifies This Violence AP

Police guard the emergency room entrance of Our Lady Of The Lake Medical Center, where wounded officers were brought, in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, July 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)(Photo: Gerald Herbert, AP)

President Obama said the fatal shootings of<span style="color: Red;">*</span>three Louisiana police were "the work of cowards who speak for no one," telling reporters late Sunday afternoon, "Nothing justifies violence against law enforcement.”
Speaking from the White House, Obama<span style="color: Red;">*</span>noted that he had been in Dallas just five days earlier, speaking after a gunman killed five police officers during a Black Lives Matter rally.

“I said that that killer would not be the last person who tries to make us turn on each other," Obama said. "Nor will today’s killer. It remains up to us to make sure that they fail."<span style="color: Red;">*</span>

He urged Americans to "focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it further."
Obama<span style="color: Red;">*</span>has<span style="color: Red;">*</span>acknowledged that his remarks about shootings have become all too predictable — last October,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>following the shooting at an Oregon community college, he said,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>"My response here, from this podium, has become routine."
On Sunday, he said<span style="color: Red;">*</span>the police officers killed Sunday in Baton Rouge, like the officers killed last week in Dallas,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>"were our fellow Americans, part of our community, part of our country, with people who loved and needed them, and who need us now — all of us — to be at our best."
In a statement issued earlier Sunday, he said, "We may not yet know the motives for this attack, but I want to be clear: there is no justification for violence against law enforcement. None. These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one. They right no wrongs. They advance no causes."
Quoting the Irish author Colum McCann, Obama told reporters,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>"A bullet need happen only once, but for peace to work we need to be reminded of its existence again and again and again."
He added, "My fellow Americans, only we can prove, through words and through deeds, that we will not be divided, and we’re going to have to keep doing it again and again and again. That’s how this country gets united. That’s how we bring people of good will together."
In the<span style="color: Red;">*</span>statement, Obama condemned the attacks "in the strongest sense of the word."
"These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop," Obama said.
Anticipating the upcoming political conventions, Obama said from the White House, "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<span style="color: Red;">*</span>—<span style="color: Red;">*</span>all of us.”
As if to underscore Obama's point, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump moments later<span style="color: Red;">*</span>tweeted, "President Obama just had a news conference, but he doesn't have a clue. Our country is a divided crime scene, and it will only get worse!"
President Obama just had a news conference, but he doesn't have a clue. Our country is a divided crime scene, and it will only get worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2016

Follow Greg Toppo on Twitter: @gtoppo

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