2nd attack on US cops in 2 weeks; Obama says avoid divisive rhetoric

BATON ROUGE, La: Confronting another killing of police officers , President Barack Obama on Sunday urged Americans to tamp down inflammatory words and actions as a violent summer collides with the nation's heated presidential campaign.

Obama said the motive behind Sunday's killing of three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was still unknown. It was the latest in a string of deadly incidents involving law enforcement, including the police shooting of a black man in Baton Rouge and the killing of five officers in Dallas.

"We as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies attacks on law enforcement,'' Obama said in remarks from the White House briefing room.

The president spoke on the eve of the Republican Party's national convention, where Donald Trump will officially accept the GOP nomination. The businessman has cast the recent incidents as a sign that the country needs new leadership, often using heated rhetoric to make his point.

"Every one right now focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it further," Obama said.

The president spoke earlier on Sunday with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden to hear the latest on the investigation into the shootings and pledge federal support.

A gunman killed three police officers and wounded three others in Louisiana's capital on Sunday. The officers in Baton Rouge were responding to a call of a man carrying a gun when shots were fired at around 9 am local time (1400 GMT). Two Baton Rouge police officers and one sheriff's deputy were killed.

The gunman was killed in a shootout with police a short time after he opened fire on the first group of officers, Colonel Mike Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, said in a press conference. The suspect was believed to have acted alone.

A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation says Baton Rouge shooter has been identified as Gavin Long.

A witness to Sunday's shootings, Brady Vancel, told a CBS television affiliate he had seen a gunman, a second man in a red shirt lying in a parking lot and another gunman running away "as shots were being fired back and forth from several guns."

He said the police arrived shortly after the gunfire began.

One of the injured officers was listed in critical condition at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, while another was in fair condition, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Zimmerman said. The third was taken to another hospital where he was in fair condition.

Shocked community members lined the highway about a mile from the shootings, at the site of the protests against Sterling's killing.

"It never hits home until it's in your own living room," said Redell Norman, an activist who attended the recent protests at police headquarters.

On July 7, an Army veteran opened fire on law enforcement in Dallas, killing five and wounding seven other officers. The shooter, who was black, said he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.


The shooting of the police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were preceded by police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, which sparked protests around the country. Dallas police were defending protesters in that city when the gunman opened fire on them.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/2nd-attack-on-US-cops-in-2-weeks-Obama-says-avoid-divisive-rhetoric/articleshow/53257088.cms

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