President Barack Obama said the fatal shootings of 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 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.”
He urged Americans to “focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it further.”
Obama has acknowledged that his remarks about shootings have become all too predictable — last October, following the shooting at an Oregon community college, he said, “My response here, from this podium, has become routine.”
On Sunday, he said the police officers killed Sunday in Baton Rouge, like the officers killed last week in Dallas, “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.”