Time: 9:58 p.m. CEST
President Barack Obama addressed the painful and tough week for the United States after the tragic events of the police-officer-involved shootings in Baton Rouge, where Alton Sterling was killed, and a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, where Philando Castile was shot to death.
Before the end of the NATO summit in Warsaw, where Obama heard additional challenging news on the death of five police officers after shooting in Dallas, Texas, the president reaffirmed his believes that, “as painful as this week has been,” he, “firmly believe that America is not as divided as some have suggested.”
In his opening remarks at the news conference, Obama said that, “Americans of all races, and all backgrounds are rightly outraged by inexcusable attacks on police, whether is in Dallas, or anywhere else. That includes protesters, and includes family members who have concerns for police conducts and have said this is unacceptable.
“There is not division there,” Obama stated. Obama justified the sadness and the anger about the deaths of Sterling and of Castile and “larger persistent problem of African-Americans and Latinos, being treated differently in our criminal-justice system.”
But, as Obama stated, the situation, which could be similar to the enormous polarization in the 60s, ”it is not true.” “You are not seeing the riots, you are not seeing police is going after the people are protesting peacefully. You have seen almost uniformly peaceful protest, and you have seen uniformly police handling those protests with professionalism,” Obama addressed the recent protests after the deaths of two African-American and killings of five police officers.
Obama sent the message for healing to the nation and requested constructiveness, instead of destruction. “As tough, as hard, as depressing, as loss of life was this week; we have a foundation to build on. We would just need to have confidence that we can build on those better angles of our nature.”
Obama called on calming down the rhetoric after the senseless violence. “And we have to make sure that all of us step back from reflection and make sure that rhetoric that we engage in, is constructive, not destructive,” Obama said.