“Twice this week, first in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, then in St. Paul Minnesota, tragic, deadly incidents in which black men were killed by police officers have left families and communities shattered while re-igniting anger and racial tensions in cities across the country. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the families of both victims and the communities that are struggling to make sense of these tragedies.
“But thoughts and prayers are not enough. These fatal confrontations are yet another reminder that similar incidents have been and continue to be a serious problem in our nation, and they expose a larger issue plaguing our criminal justice system.
“Although investigations are ongoing, we must take strong, decisive action now, and in the long term, to protect the innocent and eliminate any appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement.
“Democrats are also committed to rebuilding the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. We are committed to reforming our criminal justice system and ending mass incarceration. We are committed to investing in officer training for de-escalation and the appropriate use of force. We encourage better police-community relations and the use of smart strategies that build trust and confidence. And we also encourage communities everywhere, especially in the wake of terrible tragedies like these, to remember that the vast majority of men and women who serve in law enforcement do so honorably, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect us. And while most protesters have made their voices heard peacefully, tonight’s shooting of officers in Dallas is unacceptable and a reminder that the time to address these tensions and find common ground is long overdue.
“As we mourn and join together to heal, we must recommit ourselves to the work of preventing further violence. We cannot rest until all of our streets and neighborhoods are safe for Americans of all races.”