National, Local Officials Decry Dallas Police Ambush

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Officials from the White House on down expressed their grief following last night’s shootings targeting police officers in Dallas.

The shootings, which took place at a peaceful demonstration held in response to police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, left five officers dead and seven more wounded.

President Barack Obama said he had spoken with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to express the condolences of the American people and offer whatever assistance the city needs. Even as he spoke yesterday about racial disparities in the criminal justice system, he said the police have “an extraordinarily difficult job” and “the vast majority” of officers do their job in “outstanding fashion,” he remarked.

“We still don’t know all the facts. What we do know is that there has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. Police in Dallas were on duty, doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests,” he said.

“Let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement. The FBI is already in touch with the Dallas police, and anyone involved in these senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done,” he also said.

In response to the president’s order to honor the victims of the Dallas attack, Ohio Gov. John Kasich ordered all flags on all public buildings and grounds to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Sunday.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, called last night’s scene in Dallas “both heartbreaking and chilling,” and said he and his wife, Jane, were praying for the fallen and wounded officers, as well as their families, friends and colleagues.

“Police officers risk their lives every day to ensure that others can live, and even peacefully protest, in safety. To watch police officers be shot for doing their job, for protecting innocent people, is horrifying,” he said. “As for those who perpetrated this vicious and deliberate attack, they must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, who also offered his prayers to members of the law enforcement community and their families, said he was sickened by the “brutal and senseless acts of violence” the night before.

“We are living in difficult times in the United States, there is no denying this,” he said. “In the midst of this unimaginable tragedy, I hope that as Americans we look past the sensationalism that may arise and see the humanity within each of us. Now, more than ever, we need to strive for love, compassion, and understanding.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, called the shootings “horrific” and “heartbreaking” in a post on his Facebook page. He called on Americans to resolve their differences by sitting with respect for one another and addressing their grievances within the rule of law.

“Violence against our first responders who put their lives on the line to serve and protect us is simply wrong, and it has no place in a civil society – especially the United States of America,” he added.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., described the shootings as “a coordinated and cowardly ambush specifically directed at law enforcement officers,” though he acknowledged that more information on the shootings was forthcoming.

“It has been a week of pain and sorrow for our nation. The deaths in Dallas came on the heels of shooting incidents involving police in Louisiana and Minnesota that once again raised questions about the appropriate use of force in our policing and criminal justice system,” he said. “As we offer prayers and condolences for the families of all of the victims, we must, as one nation, commit to addressing these challenges.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-3 Pa., called for “unequivocal support, now more than ever,” for law enforcement in the wake of the Dallas shootings.

“With every loss of precious life, the fabric of our great country tears,” he said. “As we pray for a return to peace, order, and civility, let us also commit to bridging our differences and restoring the unity that we have sadly lost. Let us remember that even in our darkest times, we are all blessed to call ourselves Americans.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.