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Presidents Obama & Bush Speak At Dallas Police Shooting Memorial Service

It honored the five Dallas police officer killed and the others injured by a gunman during the conclusion of a peaceful march against recent police shootings.

Former President Georde W. Bush, Dallas Police Chief David Brown and President Barack Obama speak at the memorial service for 5 slain police officers in Dallas.
Former President Georde W. Bush, Dallas Police Chief David Brown and President Barack Obama speak at the memorial service for 5 slain police officers in Dallas.

UPDATE 2:33 p.m.: President Barack Obama said Americans can’t dismiss protesters who call attention to racial issues 50 years after the Civil Rights Act as troublemakers. Obama said Americans know that bigotry remains, some are affected by it more than others and that none of us “are entirely innocent.”

He also said the country asks police “to do too much” and that we do “too little ourselves.”

President Obama said the fatal shootings of five Dallas police officers would appear to have exposed “the deepest fault line of our democracy” but that Americans must reject such despair.

The president spoke Tuesday in Dallas at the memorial service for the five, honoring the work of law enforcement officers. The president said officers answer a call that at any moment, even in the briefest of interactions, may put their life in harm’s way.

He said fewer people are being mourned at the service because of the brave actions of the officers killed.

Obama attended the memorial along with First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden.

The Dallas police officers killed by a suspect. From the bottom left in clockwise order: Michael Smith, Brent Thompson,  Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol and Lorne Ahrens.
The Dallas police officers killed by a suspect. From the bottom left in clockwise order: Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol and Lorne Ahrens.

DART Officer Brent Thompson, 43; and Dallas police Officers Patrick Zamarripa, 32; Michael Krol, 40; Lorne Ahrens, 48; and Michael Smith, 55, were killed while guarding a peaceful protest against the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota July 7.

Earlier during the memorial, former President George W. Bush said Americans should “remember their shared commitments for common ideals” as a means of bridging divisions.

Bush said that Americans know we have one country and don’t want the unity of grief and fear, but hope.

Bush also said of the five officers: “with their deaths, we have lost so much.”

GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas also spoke. He said that in times of darkness, it’s important to remember that the officers who died and were injured in Dallas last week were “not overcome by evil.”

Instead, Cornyn said the officers overcame evil by running toward gunfire, shielding citizens and sacrificing their own lives. He also praised Dallas Police Chief David Brown for his simple statement this week that “Dallas loves.”

And Chief Brown recited lyrics from Stevie Wonder’s song “As” to the families of the five officers who were fatally shot last week.

The chief said he often would find himself at a loss for words as a young man trying to get dates, and would use lyrics to express himself.

That’s what he did at the service for the families of those who died. Brown said, among other lyrics: “just as hate knows love’s the cure, you can rest your mind assure that I’ll be loving you always.”

Brown received a long, loud standing ovation from those in attendance.

PREVIOUSLY: President Barack Obama finds himself in an all-too-familiar place when he leads a tribute to more lives ended by a man with a gun Tuesday in Dallas. A live video of the service from our partners at the PBS Newshour can be seen above.

Obama will try Tuesday to help Dallas begin to heal after five of its police officers were slain in the line of duty. They were targeted by Micah Johnson, a 25-year-old Army veteran-turned-mass shooter, during what Obama denounced as a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack” by a “demented” individual.

Obama is preparing to address a memorial service for the five slain officers that is set to start at 12:30 p.m. CT

DART Officer Brent Thompson, 43; and Dallas police Officers Patrick Zamarripa, 32; Michael Krol, 40; Lorne Ahrens, 48; and Michael Smith, 55, were killed while guarding a peaceful protest against the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota July 7. Obama’s spokesman says the president hopes to offer Dallas “some measure of comfort.”

Former President and Texas Governor George W. Bush, a Dallas resident, is also scheduled to speak. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is among the lawmakers accompanying President Barack Obama aboard Air Force One as he travels to Dallas for the memorial.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Tuesday that Cruz’s presence, as well as speeches from former President Bush and GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, are examples of how the country is not nearly as divided as it might seem. Given political debates, campaign rhetoric and congressional dysfunction. Earnest says that “it’s in moments of tragedy, that this unity is revealed.”

Other members of Congress flying with the president include Democratic minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Texas Democratic Reps. Marc Veasey and Eddie Bernice Johnson.

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