comscore Obama condemns attack on Baton Rouge officers
Top News

Obama condemns attack on Baton Rouge officers

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

    Police guard the emergency room entrance of Our Lady Of The Lake Medical Center, where wounded officers were brought, in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, July 17, 2016. Multiple law enforcement officers were killed and wounded Sunday morning in a shooting near a gas station in Baton Rouge, less than two weeks after a black man was shot and killed by police here, sparking nightly protests across the city.

WASHINGTON >> The attacks on public servants and the rule of law “have to stop,” President Barack Obama said Sunday after another shooting spree targeting police killed three officers in Baton Rouge and wounded three others.

Obama said the motive for Sunday’s attack, the second targeting police in less than two weeks, was unknown, but there is no justification for violence against law enforcement.

“These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “They right no wrongs. They advance no causes.”

Obama called Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden to hear the latest on the investigation into the shootings and pledge federal support. He is also expected to address the nation from the White House later Sunday afternoon.

Obama has spent most of the last week focused on defusing tensions and rebuilding trust between police departments and the communities they serve.

Now, a second attack has further placed a nation on edge as Americans anxiously watch the spate of violence at home and abroad with Friday’s attack in Nice, France, contributing to a picture of a troubled world.

“The officers in Baton Rouge, the officers in Dallas, they 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,” Obama said.

On July 7, an Army veteran opened fire on law enforcement in Dallas, killing five and wounding seven other officers. The shooter said he wanted to kill white people, “especially white officers.” Obama spoke at the memorial service for the five officers killed and told Americans not to despair, that the nation is not as divided as it might seem.

The next day, he held an extraordinary four-hour meeting at the White House’s executive offices with police officers, community activists and elected leaders. He emerged from the session saying “we’re not even close” to the point where minority communities could feel confident that police departments were serving them with respect and equality or where police departments could feel adequately supported at all levels.

“We have to, as a country, sit down and just grind it out, solve these problems,” Obama said after the meeting.

The shooting of the police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were preceded by police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, which sparked protests around the country. Dallas police were defending protesters in that city when the black gunman opened fire on them.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that agents from the FBI and ATF are on the scene of the shooting in Baton Rouge, and the Justice Department will make available victim services and assist the investigation to the fullest extent possible.

Comments (61)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

      • FYI read the rest of his speech:
        “We don’t need inflammatory rhetoric. We don’t need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts … all of us,” Obama said.
        Obama should have ended his speech with “I plead guilty” as he has done the exact same things in the past that he now condemns.

        • Bullfighter, hate and prejudice, and America armed to the teeth with guns and assault rifles, are the cause of all these deaths. How does blaming Obama stop these massacres and carnage?

        • The question should be now that Obama has fueled hate and prejudice for the past seven years how is he going to stop it?

        • Sarge, I will ask the same of you. How has Obama fueled hate and prejudice for the past 7 years? Please be specific and not just use words put forth by Rush or Fox.

        • for vector who is newly uninformed and for boots who is perpetually uninformed, wake up from your deep sleep:
          Obama is guilty of instigating racial tensions ever since his first term when he said that the Cambridge, Massachusetts police “acted stupidly” after an African-American professor was arrested in his own home. It turned out the white policeman was protecting the home from what he thought was a burglary. Although the policeman had an impeccable record and there was no evidence of racial bias, Obama found him guilty of racism and “stupidity.”
          How’s that for a careless accusation made by the President himself?

          Moreover, need I inform you two that the Obama administration had encouraged anti-police protests and sent in the Justice Department to launch a full investigation of the Ferguson Police Department at the height of racial tensions in that community which only exacerbated the tension and violence. It was like putting gasoline on a fire which ironically in the end resulted in the officer being found innocent. How’s that for scoring political points to advance an agenda before all the evidence is in? Obama rushes to judgment when it suits his agenda. So like I said, Obama is guilty of that which he has condemned. Need any more example do you?

        • Obama does not get it. I think this goes back to his days at Punahou. He probably got in on an athletic scholarship until they found out 1/2 white men can’t jump.

        • He has failed to realize he has problems. He is the only person who has the power. Miss Piggy has got to go. What makes it worse, he endorses an extremely careless SS and proclaims that she is the most qualified person to be POTUS? They must be growing some good stuff in the WH garden. He’s toxic, Crooked Mama is toxic.

        • Obama is something like Crooked Hilliary. They talk and Klastri, boots and NanakuliBoss stand at attention and say Achtung Mein Fuhrer.

    • Bullfighter, hate and prejudice, and America armed to the teeth with guns and assault rifles, are the cause of all these deaths. How does blaming Obama stop these massacres and carnage?

        • Yep. Police have been safer under Obama that Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, and Clinton. The National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Funds compile the statistics and they were reported on the Washington Post Wonkblog. Under Reagan, an average of 101 police officers were killed by gunfire, assault, stabbing, bombings, etc. Under Obama its 62 per year. The police death rate under Obama are lower that all of the other Presidents as well. Should Obama be credited for the low police death rate? Probably not, there are other factors as well. But if you are not going to give him credit for the low police death rate, how do you blame him for recent deaths? No can, there are a whole lot of other issues at play in our society.

        • Right. Whenever anyone criticizes your dubious hero, it’s ALWAYS about racism, isn’t it? That’s the default distractor used when you really have no substance. And you wonder why we have no respect for the man and his supporters.

        • Carang_da_buggahz – I don’t want your respect. I’d reject it if you offered it.

        • The number of police officers killed on the job has been falling for decades, even as the number of officers has increased. This has been the case under Obama as well. These tragedies are at historic lows.


          In fact,  many more officers kill themselves than are killed by others. Many officers face multiple suicide risk factors:
          > exposure to violence, suicide, or other job-related stressors;
          > depression, anxiety, or other mental illness;
          > substance abuse;
          > domestic abuse;
          > access to means to kill oneself (e.g., firearms); and
          > poor physical health.

          These suicides are preventable in many cases if more attention is paid to the fact that officers are more likely to kill themselves than to be shot by someone else.

    • Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi all are GOP states and have the highest amount of police shootings. 


      Why is this?

      There are several reasons:

      > Conservative policies have resulted in the proliferation of firearms, stonewalling calls for better gun control laws by police and progressives like Obama.

      > Due to local budget cuts by conservatives, there has been a reduction in community policing and increased reliance on predatory civil fines and asset forfeitures to fund police departments. This taking of money from people who are poor and struggling, to pay for conservative tax cuts, has bred resentment.

      > Conservatives have supported policies and funding to militarize the police.

      > Conservatives at all levels have refused to invest adequate resources in poor communities, including jobs initiatives that would benefit young African American men. (Meanwhile they vote to spend lavishly on the security state).

      > Conservative policies have resulted in disproportionately harsh outcomes for African-Americans who have contact with the criminal justice system (compared to European-Americans with the same conduct).

      I think the main problem we have are too many conservatives and white-supremacists who have been obsessed with blaming Obama for all America’s problems, including the growing anger in neglected African-American communities, while doing everything they can to see him fail. These groups, more that any others, are responsible for the increased racial tensions in the mainland.

      The police and the poor minority communities are the real victims in all this, shouldering the real impacts of harsh conservative policies. The vast majority of them are good people, struggling to do their best each day.

      Can things get worse? You bet. With poor leadership at the state and local levels, and with a Republican Congress that insists on flooding the nation with guns and yet refuses to adequately help poor communities, we could finally see the numbers of police killed on the job begin to rise again.

      Perhaps we are already past that point.

        • That is a racist fantasy. You denigrate African-Americans. That’s probably why you don’t like the president and blame him for the violence happening in states that under the complete control of right wing conservatives.

      • I haven’t been at war since the ’60s.

        I’m not at war now.

        Let’s all start going by the Golden Rule and see how far that can get us. I think it will go far and we would be living in a better place.

    • Guys like slick Sharpton and Jackson have lived on the backs of blacks. They and Obama have done nothing for the blacks except stoke the racist fire.

    • What about the role of our president in race relations?

      No one would argue that racial tensions haven’t increased under Obama. Is that his fault? Is he guilty of “governing while black?”

      While doing his best to clean up the disasters left by his predecessor, Obama has faced exaggerated hostility.

      There has been an increase in white supremacist hate groups and threats against the president from the start of his tenure, and unrelated to his official actions.

      He had had little help from a Republican congress determined to obstruct progress and then blame him for it. This was their #1 priority while the nation was reeling from economic collapse, unemployment, foreclosures and Bush-broke-the-MidEast wars. Specifically, conservatives blocked support for infrastructure and job creation initiatives that would help those hardest hit by the Bush recession – poor and minority communities.

      There has been ugly, disrespectful vitriol against the president by conservative European Americans, including mainstream right wing media. The extent of this has been unprecedented in modern times. This has mostly consisted of a steady spin – killing by a thousand cuts – supporting the narrative that he’s illegitimate (a secret Muslim, gay, not a real American). At times, this has been unmistakable, as when conservatives who embraced the disgraceful fabricated “birther” accusations against the president’s legitimacy, later dismissed the very real fact that Ted Cruz was born outside the US to a father who was not a US citizen.

      At the state level, conservatives took control of state-houses across the country. Budgets for police and schools were slashed. Extreme gerrymandering and restrictive voting laws were implemented to disenfranchise minority communities.

      All of this is plain as day to those whose minds are not corrupted by a white supremacist world view (conscious or unconscious). Most of all, this has been plain to minority communities, particularly African-American communities. They are not happy about how the conservative, right wing, white supremacist community has treated them.

      No group enjoys having to face poverty and discrimination on a regular basis. Few will sit idly by when they repeatedly witness it for themselves. Technology is allowing the disenfranchised to share information, including videos of police violence against members of their communities.

      Conservatives have been driving a racial wedge deep into the heart of the nation for the past 8 years, them they blame Obama, “It’s all his fault. Just look at him. He’s different. He doesn’t say the things we would say. He’s not wh*te.” Their leaders are frothing at the mouth and whipping up the people, as they have for years. They specialize in the politics of fear, of divide and conquer.

      Some are giddy with righteous indignation and visions of a security state ruled by them.

      • The most pathetic part of all this is that the right-wing Evangelical conservatives who have maintained a tight grip on power throughout the southern states, who have opposed gun control, and who have preached the gospel of personal responsibility, have been so reluctant to take responsibility and so quick to blame Obama and federal government for the povery, violence and racial tensions in their communities. Can you say “hypocrite”?

      • Lengthy criticisms directed across the aisle offer little. Healthy discourse begins with an unadulterated admission of mutual shortcomings. Until both sides begin sifting through the garbage to discover the validity the dump only gets larger.

  • Watch Cleveland, that’s appearing to be a tinder box. There has been one attempt to kill Trump already. BLM will be there along w/ Panthers who legitimately own guns. GOP attendees will be armed. Looks like we are living in the early 70s, where Black Panther’s were killing cops. Guess the cop killer in Cuba can come home, she might be hailed a hero.

  • How predictable. Little Barry’s cheerleading squad at the Star Advertiser got out in front of this one and let everyone know he condemns the attack. The fact is it was Little Barry and his promotion of certain anti-police, anti-caucasian organizations that directly contributes to this type of violence against police officers. Barry and his divide and conquer progressive democrats are directly tied to the hateful environment we find ourselves in.

    • CEI, blaming Obama and Democrats for the divisions and prejudices in this country. What about the right wing hate groups, like the Klu Klux Klan, White Supremacists, Neo Nazis, Tea Party, and a lot of Republicans in Congress, who hate blacks, mexicans, asians, gays, muslims, jews, There is a lot blame for all those right wing fascist groups

      • Vector, it is the Hawaii born President Obama and his supporters who has been the political power these past seven and one half years. They are the ones who have promoted the separation of races. At the same time , he put down and silenced the groups you identify as right wing hate groups with his Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor, et al. And, President Obama through those same Federal government agencies, protected the individuals following his directive. Open your eyes and see the truth of the Obama administration. Now, Mr. Trump as President must undo all the damage Pres. Obama and his friends have done to our Country and World.

        • Crooked Mama spent 100 million last month trying to buy enough lipstick and cologne to cover her a$$. Didn’t work. Her ardent supporters write comments that infuriate. Keep up the good work. Very effective. Crooked Mama is unaware of their passion because she is extremely careless and they have yet to send her money. With Crooked Mama, money talks.

  • No mention of the suspect?
    Well, one of the 3 officers is white, one is black.
    The “suspect” is Gavin Eugene Long of Kansas City, Missouri.
    When will we be told HIS race?

  • After reading these comments, I still think that the President’s comment was very appropriate. He is trying to get a handle on this type of activity. He did well this time!

  • Too late. Much too late! The blood is on your hands, obama. You are the one who started the anti-police rhetoric by coming out before all the facts are known and condemning and demonizing Law Enforcement. YOU are supposed to set the tone and tenor for the people. Instead, you have consistently taken the side of the law-breakers. But, YOU ever taking responsibility for negative outcomes? NEVER! Quit your political grandstanding. Your whole presidency has been a complete and total SHAM.

  • better late than never. at least he didn’t say the shootings were inexcusable and then launch into a litany of justifications as he did in the past.

    this election will be close and he needs to appear better than he is to keep core gruber democrat voters roped in.

    • He’ll get out ther on the stump telling people what a great job he has done. Then with a straight face say Crooked Mama is the most honest person he knows. Klastri, Boss and boots will glee with approval. Sick.

  • May God bless these three brave officers and strengthen and heal the others three and the rest of the Baton Rouge police force and community. What we all need now is LOVE for each other. God bless the survivors (families) of these brave officers that sacrificed themselves for a noble cause; peace, prosperity and a better quality of life.

  • Obama was MIA on 9/11/2012. He has been MIA from the WH for the last 7 1/2 years. Of that 7 1/2 years Hillary Clinton was the SS. Loretta Lynch is the AG. Draw your own conclusions.

    • Conditions in these communities are the responsibility of state and local governments and their policies. For the states with most racial tensions and violence, these are conservative governments. The main federal policies that would have reduced local violence are stricter gun controls, job creation and anti poverty efforts. Obama and Dems pushed for these but were repeatedly blocked by right wing republicans.

      Conservatives refuse to take responsibility for their failed policies, and instead blame Obama.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up