Politicians across Texas expressed shock and horror about the murders of four Dallas police officers Thursday as that city’s peaceful demonstration about police-connected killings in Louisiana and Minnesota were coming to a close.
“I’m heartbroken by the news out of Dallas,” said U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady. “That anyone would take a moment where Americans joined together in peace to savagely attack those who have sworn to protect and serve is just sickening. Our prayers are with the officers, their families and all Texans who believe in the sanctity of life and who are grieving today with our men and women in blue.”
One of the officers killed in Dallas was Port Arthur native Michael Smith. He was 55. Smith was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur and Lamar University. He attended police academy in Dallas.
U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both offered condolences and President Barack Obama, at the NATO summit, in Poland, at first issued a statement about the demonstrations and how Americans must work together to overcome their divide and later expressed his sorrow.
“To all of law enforcement, I want to be very clear: We know you have a tough job. We mourn those in uniform who are protecting us who lose their lives. On a regular basis, I have joined with families in front of Capitol Hill to commemorate the incredible heroism that they’ve displayed. I’ve hugged family members who’ve lost loved ones doing the right thing. I know how much it hurts.
“On a regular basis, we bring in those who’ve done heroic work in law enforcement and have survived. Sometimes they’ve been injured. Sometimes they’ve risked their lives in remarkable ways. And we applaud them and appreciate them, because they’re doing a really tough job really well.
“There is no contradiction between us supporting law enforcement - making sure they’ve got the equipment they need, making sure that their collective bargaining rights are recognized, making sure that they’re adequately staffed, making sure that they are respected, making sure their families are supported – and also saying that there are problems across our criminal justice system, there are biases – some conscious and unconscious – that have to be rooted out. That’s not an attack on law enforcement. That is reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job,” Obama said.