In the wake of the recent police shootings that took the lives of five officers in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge, President Barack Obama has released an open letter addressed to “the brave members of our Nation’s law enforcement community.” He thanks police officers for their service, and strives to start the healing process in a profession that is now grief-stricken.
Obama extolls the virtues of the fallen officers. He draws attention to Dallas officer Lorne Ahrens who went out of his way to help the homeless, and Baton Rouge officer Montrell Jackson who offered his hugs and prayers to everyone – even those protesting the police. Obama writes, “As you continue to defend us with quiet dignity, we proclaim loudly our appreciation for the acts of service you perform as part of your daily routine.”
He continues, “You put others’ safety before your own, and you remind us that loving our country means loving one another. Even when some protest, you protect them. What is more professional than that? What is more patriotic?” His last words at the letter’s close are,
“We have your back.”
We follow the President’s lead and extend our deepest gratitude to the law enforcement community, without whom we would not be able to safely exercise our rights to free speech and free press. The tragedy of the recent attacks that deliberately targeted officers weighs deeply on us. Our hope is that these unforgivable murders will spur reconciliation between the police and the communities they serve. Lives have been lost on all sides, and it is time for communities to heal together.
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Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.