HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama says he unconditionally condemns the murder of two police officers shot in broad daylight on Saturday in New York.
Obama says there’s no justification for the slayings. He says police officers risk their own safety to serve and protect their communities and that they deserve the public’s respect and gratitude.
Authorities say that before shooting the officers, the gunman announced online he planned to shoot two “pigs” in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. The gunman later killed himself.
Obama is asking Americans to reject violence and harmful words. He’s encouraging people instead to embrace words that heal, and to seek out prayer and sympathy for the victims’ relatives.
“I unconditionally condemn today’s murder of two police officers in New York City. Two brave men won’t be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification. The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day – and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day. Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal – prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen.” – President Barack Obama
On Sunday, Obama offered full support and federal assistance to the New York Police Department in the wake of the killing of two officers.
The White House says Obama called New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton from Hawaii, where the president is vacationing and offered condolences.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz says Obama also said Americans must reject violence and instead turn to prayer and sympathy for the victims’ relatives. He says the administration will work with leaders across the country to echo that message.