U.S. President Barack Obama says people across the United States are 'suffering' in the wake of the killings of five police officers in Dallas. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama on Tuesday praised Dallas police officers including the five slain at a protest against police violence last week for saving lives during the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement in almost 15 years. "We know that the overwhelming majority of police officers do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally," Obama told a memorial service for the slain police officers. "They are deserving of our respect and not our scorn." "And when anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased or bigoted, we undermine those officers we depend on for our safety," Obama added. Former U.S. Army Reserve soldier Micah Johnson, 25, gunned down the officers in an ambush on Thursday after expressing anger over recent police killings of black people. Johnson then was killed by an explosive-laden robot sent in by police. Johnson, who was black, opened fire during a march protesting the police shootings last week of two black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and outside St. Paul, Minnesota, the latest in a string of high-profile killings that have stirred a deepest debate on race and justice in America. "We mourn fewer people today because of your brave actions," Obama told a crowd several hundred people, including many uniformed police officers, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. "Despite the fact that police conduct was the subject of the protest, despite the fact that there must have been signs or slogans or chants with which they profoundly disagreed, these men and this department did their jobs as the professionals that they were." Obama's predecessor, President George W. Bush, also addressed the packed hall, where five chairs were empty of people, holding folded American flags, in memory of the slain officers.