- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Stung by criticism that he doesn’t show enough support for police, President Obama told the nation’s law enforcement officers Tuesday that Americans “depend on you.”

“Time and again, you make the split-second decisions that could mean life or death for you and many others in harm’s way,” Mr. Obama said in an open letter to police. “I want you to know that the American people see it, too. We recognize it, we respect it, we appreciate it, and we depend on you.”

After the murders of three police officers Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the head of the police union in Cleveland said Mr. Obama had “blood on his hands” for attacks against law enforcement, including the assassinations of five officers in Dallas two weeks ago. Cleveland is hosting the Republican National Convention.

“Just as your tight-knit law enforcement family feels the recent losses to your core, our nation grieves alongside you,” Mr. Obama wrote. “Any attack on police is an unjustified attack on all of us.”

Criticism of racial tensions and violence against police are prominent themes at the GOP convention. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke drew cheers Monday night when he told the convention, “Blue Lives Matter!” The White House again rejected a call Monday to light the president’s house in blue as a show of support for slain officers.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani alluded to then-Sen. Obama’s 2004 speech in which he declared there is “not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”

“What happened to ‘there’s no black America, there’s no white America — there is just America?’ What happened to it? Where did it go?” Mr. Giuliani asked.
In his letter to police, the president the job of a police officer is particularly difficult “in this tumultuous hour.”

“Some are trying to use this moment to divide police and the communities you serve,” Mr. Obama said. “I reject those efforts, for they do not reflect the reality of our nation.”

The president told police that America “should give you the resources you need to do your job, including our full-throated support.”

“We must give you the tools you need to build and strengthen the bonds of trust with those you serve, and our best efforts to address the underlying challenges that contribute to crime and unrest,” he said.

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