Donald Trump responded to the deadly police shootings in Dallas by offering his prayers to the victims and their families and by calling for restored “law and order.”
Speaking in a video released early Friday evening, Trump said the shootings of the 12 officers, five of whom were killed, had “shaken the soul of our nation.”
“A brutal attack on our police force is an attack on our country, and an attack on our families. We must stand in solidarity with law enforcement, which we must remember is the force between civilization and total chaos,” Trump said. “Every American has the right to live in safety and peace.”
He added that the deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota show “how much work we have to do in order to make every American feel that their safety is protected.” The video statement marked the first time that Trump had publicly named the victims in the shootings.
Trump also said that racial divisions in the country have “gotten worse, not better” and called for “prayers, love, unity and leadership.”
Earlier Friday, Trump issued a statement on the shootings in which he said the U.S. “must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street.”
He also cited “senseless, tragic deaths of two motorists in Louisiana and Minnesota,” a reference to Sterling and Castile, though he did not mention their names.
The presumptive presidential nominees for both major political parties have postponed campaign events Friday, following the deadliest single day for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001.
Trump canceled campaign stops in Miami and Hillary Clinton postponed her scheduled rally with Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as well as a fundraising event. Clinton is still expected to speak Friday afternoon in Philadelphia, where she is expected to address this week’s shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
Clinton’s speech was scheduled before the shootings.
“I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters, for their families & all who serve with them. -H” Clinton tweeted Friday.
Politicians from Texas and around the country offered condolences and reactions to the fatalities, with Trump decrying “the horrors we are all watching take place in our country.”
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SOURCE: CNN, David Wright and Rachel Chason