-- The nation’s top law enforcement official today condemned “in the strongest terms possible” what she called “heinous attacks” and “senseless violence” targeting law enforcement, a day after three police officers were killed and three others wounded in what may have been a planned ambush in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“All of us are again heartbroken at the news of yet another tragedy; shocked by such callous disregard for human life; and dismayed at yet another instance of violence tearing at the fabric of our nation,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in prepared remarks to a group of black law enforcement officials gathered in Washington.
“There is no justification whatsoever for violence against law enforcement. And our hearts and prayers go out to the brave individuals we lost, and the friends and family members who loved and needed them -- and who will need us, all of us, now more than ever," Lynch added.
Speaking at the annual conference of the National Organization of Black Law -- or NOBLE -- Lynch said that to truly honor the officers killed in Baton Rouge, “We must not let hatred infect our hearts.”
“We must remember that no matter who we are, we all feel the same pain when we lose a friend or loved one,” she said. “We all share the same hopes for our children’s future, and the same anxiety for their safety. We all share not only a country, but a brief moment of life together. And the complex and challenging issues these tragedies have brought to the fore can only be met if we can find ways to work together.”
Lynch’s remarks come just two weeks after a gunman launched an attack on law enforcement in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers.
She said NOBLE’s “voice is needed now more than ever to speak to the loss of humanity when any of us are judged at a glance -- whether by the color of our skin or the color of our uniform,” and she said the Justice Department is “determined to do everything we can to bridge divides, to heal rifts, to restore trust, and to ensure that every American feels respected, supported, and safe.”
Lynch noted federal efforts to promote “community policing,” prosecute violations of federal civil rights laws, and expand use of body-worn camera, de-escalation training, and education in “implicit bias.”