President Obama on Friday denounced the shootings of police officers in Dallas as a “vicious, calculated and despicable” attack on law enforcement.

"I believe I speak for every single American when I say we are horrified over these events, and we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas,” Obama said at a NATO summit meeting in Warsaw, Poland.


The president offered condolences and pledged full federal support to the investigation during a morning phone call with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

"Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable,” Obama said. “Justice will be done."

Five police officers were killed and seven others injured when a sniper opened fire late Thursday during a protest against two fatal shootings of black men at the hands of police. Two civilians were also wounded.

The suspected shooter was killed by a police-detonated explosive. 

The incident shocked the nation and added a tragic new dimension to the debate over police brutality.

Speaking about law enforcement, Obama said the Dallas shootings are “a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they make for us."

“We will learn more undoubtedly about their twisted motivations, but let's be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement,” he said.

Obama repeated that more must be done to address divisions between police officers and the community they serve. He also said that the nation’s gun laws may have contributed to the killings.

“We also know when people are armed with powerful weapons. Unfortunately, it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic,” he said. “In the days ahead, we will have to consider those realities as well. In the meantime, today, our focus is on the victims and their families."

It was the second time in less than 24 hours that Obama was forced to address a police-involved incident back home, taking his focus away from the summit of NATO leaders.

The president said that all Americans should be troubled over the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively.

He acknowledged that police put their lives on the line to protect their communities every day but said it’s not a contradiction to also call for reforms.

“When people say black lives matter, that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter, it means all lives matter,” Obama said. “But the data shows that black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents."