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A GOP lawmaker from Texas on Friday accused President Obama and other leaders of "instigation" in the wake of a deadly shooting in Dallas that killed five police officers.
Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsNew spotlight on secretaries of state as electoral battlegrounds GOP divided on anti-Biden midterm message The Hill's Morning Report - Bidens to visit Surfside, Fla., collapse site MORE (R-Texas) issued a statement offering condolences to the families of the victims of the attack, which also wounded seven officers and two civilians.
"I am saddened and angered by those who believe they have a right to do harm to the men and women who put their lives on the line every single day to protect the communities in which they live," Williams said in the statement that was also posted on Facebook.
"The spread of misinformation and constant instigation by prominent leaders, including our president, have contributed to the modern day hostility we are witnessing between the police and those they serve. As a result, today we are seeing one of the noblest professions condemned by those who could benefit the most," added Williams, who has been in Congress since 2013.
Williams represents a district stretching from Forth Worth to Austin. He previously served as Texas's secretary of state.
Republicans have in the past criticized Obama's response to mass shootings and police-involved shootings, including incidents involving unarmed black men.
Obama denounced the shootings of the Dallas police officers on Friday, calling it "vicious, calculated and despicable" and vowing that "justice will be done." He also ordered flags at half-staff.
Issues of race and police use of force were raised again this week after fatal shootings involving police that left black men dead in Baton Rouge, La., and in suburban St. Paul, Minn.
“When people say black lives matter, that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter, it means all lives matter,” Obama said on Thursday during a trip to Poland for a NATO summit before the Dallas attack unfolded.
National leaders on Friday urged calm and unity in responding to the attack as tensions flared over the deadliest attack on police since 9/11.
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