Obama: An Attack on Law Enforcement Is an Attack on All of Us

“Only we can prove, in our own actions and words, that we will not be divided.”


After an ambush on police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that left at least three officers dead and three others wounded Sunday morning, President Barack Obama spoke at the White House today, saying it is up to “all of us” to create a united front against violence.

“We as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies violence against law enforcement. An attack against law enforcement is an attack against all of us and the rule of law that makes society possible,” said Obama. “This has happened far too often.”

Obama expressed his condolences to the families of the officers killed in Baton Rouge and called on Americans to “temper our words and open our hearts” ahead of the upcoming conventions. This is the 16th time Obama has addressed the nation after a shooting.

“We have to make sure that our best selves are reflected across America, not our worst. That is up to us,” said Obama. “Only we can prove, in our own actions and words, that we will not be divided, even if we have to do it again and again and again. That’s how this country gets united. That’s how we bring this country together.”

The shooting in Baton Rouge comes just 10 days after a deadly shooting in Dallas that killed five police officers and injured seven others. Baton Rouge has been the site of several protests since the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was selling CDs outside a convenience store when he was shot by the police. On July 13, the ACLU of Louisiana along with other community groups filed a lawsuit against the Baton Rouge Police Department, alleging that police officers used excessive force against protesters.

Watch Obama’s full statement below: