President Barack Obama will travel to Dallas on Tuesday to deliver remarks at an interfaith memorial service in honor of the victims of a racially motivated shooting of police last week.
The White House said Sunday afternoon that the president had accepted an invitation by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to speak at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
A gunman shot and killed five officers and injured nine other people at a Black Lives Matter protest against police brutality in Dallas on Thursday. The shooter said he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” according to the Dallas Police Department. The attack came during a violent week that also saw fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.
The president addressed the shooting during an official visit to Spain earlier Sunday, arguing that excessive rhetoric against police can hurt the cause of criminal justice reform.
“Whenever those of us who are concerned about fairness in the criminal justice system attack police officers, you are doing a disservice to the cause,” Obama said during a press conference on his way home from a NATO summit in Poland.
“But even rhetorically,” Obama added, “if we paint police in a broad brush without recognizing that the vast majority of police officers are doing a really good job and are trying to protect people and do so fairly and without racial bias, if the rhetoric does not recognize that, then we’re going to lose allies in the reform cause.”