- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

As he flew to Dallas Tuesday to pay tribute to five slain police officers, President Obama called the families of two black men who were shot and killed by police last week.

Mr. Obama called the families of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and of Philando Castile, who was killed last week in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, “to offer his and the first lady’s condolences on behalf of the American people,” the White House said.

Mr. Obama made the calls from Air Force One on his way to Texas to attend a memorial service for the officers who were killed by a black sniper last week. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and an ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights, was among the lawmakers flying with the president.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said of Mr. Cruz accompanying the president on the flight, “At a time when our country is do divided, I think it is important that the country’s leaders are coming together across party lines despite significant political differences to emphasize a shared desire to unify the country.”

“Unfortunately, it’s in moments of tragedy that this unity is revealed,” Mr. Earnest said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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