Obama tells police: 'We have your backs'

Obama tells police: 'We have your backs'
© Getty Images
President Obama on Monday penned an open letter to law enforcement in the wake of ambush attacks against police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La. 
 
Obama said the country should offer its “full-throated support” to “brave members of our nation’s law enforcement community,” pushing back against criticism that he has fomented anti-police sentiment during his tenure. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
“Some are trying to use this moment to divide police and the communities you serve,” he wrote in the letter posted online Tuesday by the White House. “I reject those efforts, for they do not reflect the reality of our nation.”
 
The letter is another attempt to ease tensions between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve after several stunning examples of violence in cities across the country. 
 
During a trip to Dallas last week, Obama memorialized five officers who were killed in a racially motivated sniper attack while attempting to urge Americans to confront their own racial biases. 
 
After the shooting, which occurred during a protest against police-involved deaths of black men in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, Minn., Obama faced criticism from law enforcement officials that he’s waged a “war on cops.” 
 
Obama has addressed those accusations in two private meetings with law enforcement officials and a televised town hall on race last week.
 
“As you continue to serve us in this tumultuous hour, we again recognize that we can no longer ask you to solve issues we refuse to address as a society,” the president wrote. “We should give you the resources you need to do your job, including our full-throated support.”
 
The president recalled how several of the officers who were shot dead were protecting protesters who may not have been fond of the police. 
 
“What is more professional than that? What is more patriotic? What is a prouder example of our most basic freedoms — to speech, to assembly, to life, and to liberty?” Obama wrote. 
 
“Thank you for your courageous service,” he concluded. “We have your backs.”