Obama calls police killings "shameful acts", praises police and Iowa

Published: Nov. 2, 2016 at 4:53 PM CDT
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President Obama released a statement on the Wednesday shootings of two police officers in the Des Moines area as they sat in their squad cars.

"Yesterday, two police officers put on their uniforms to serve and protect the communities they loved. And early this morning, they were taken from us in shameful acts of violence.

Sergeant Anthony Beminio and Officer Justin Martin represented our best, most decent instincts as human beings – to serve our neighbors, to put ourselves in harm’s way for someone else. They knew the dangers of their job. They knew the risks. Yet they chose to dedicate themselves to those values anyway. So today, Michelle and I join Americans across our country in expressing our condolences and stand in solidarity with their grieving families, fellow officers, and the communities they served so honorably.

All across the country, our police officers go to work each day not knowing whether they’ll come home at night. Their families live each day with the same fears. So as Americans, we owe them our respect and gratitude for their efforts to safeguard our families and our communities. And so as we once again mourn American police officers lost in the line of duty, we must also renew the call to match that same sense of service, that same devotion within our own lives and our own communities.

Thankfully, that’s the Iowa I know well. That’s what I’ve experienced every time I’ve visited Urbandale and Des Moines – good, big-hearted people who look out for each other and are willing to come together across our differences. That’s the spirit we all must summon now not only to heal, but to honor the service of Sergeant Beminio, Officer Martin, and all the men and women who wear the blue."

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch also responded to the shootings today.

"Let me be clear, there is no message in murder. Violence creates nothing. It only destroys...and the path to the more just and peaceful paved not with hatred and malice but with compassion and understanding."

Lynch also said the Justice Department is available to help with any part of this investigation.