Pence, local officials react to Dallas ambush

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — State and local leaders joined police departments in expressing anguish and outrage for the ambush in Dallas that killed five officers and left seven others wounded. Two civilians were also hurt during the shootings, police said.

Gov. Mike Pence called it a “cowardly attack” and a “national tragedy.” He urged Hoosiers to reflect on how to “build bridges of opportunity and hope in struggling communities across our state.” He also directed flags at state facilities to be flown at half-staff from now until July 12 to honor those killed in the ambush.

The governor’s statement in full:

“Our condolences and prayers go out to the families of the law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the horrific ambush in Dallas last night. This cowardly attack is a national tragedy and the hearts of every Hoosier are in Dallas today.

“This attack on police officers in Dallas is also a heartbreaking reminder of the risks the men and women of our law-enforcement community take every day to protect and serve our communities.

“In the wake of this tragedy, we must be clear that violence and threats against law enforcement officers will never be tolerated and ensure that our police have the training and resources to defend themselves as they defend our communities.

“Our hearts also go out to the families of those who lost their lives in police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this week.

“As we mourn with those who mourn, now is also a time for Hoosiers to humble ourselves and reflect on how each of us might build bridges of opportunity and hope in struggling communities across our state.

“To heal our land, we must stand with those who protect and serve and continue to reach out with generosity and compassion for those in need.”

Several groups including Indiana Black Expo, the Indianapolis Urban League and Concerned Clergy released a joint statement:

We invite the city of Indianapolis to allow their hearts to break with ours over the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castle and Dallas police officers murdered and injured in the line of duty at a rally. These incidents occurred as the nation reeled from the senseless murder of members of the LGBT community in Orlando. There have been over 100 police action shootings of Black men across the country this year alone prompting outrage but seemingly no justice. It is through tears and frustration, a reverence for the dead, and respect for the impact on the families of the victims and the officers involved that we seek to affirm our aspirations toward healthy and continuously improving police and community relations. We mourn for the loss of life of citizens who mattered to their communities, families and friends. Their lives mattered. Black lives matter.

We recognize that the police have a difficult job to do and that the majority serve the community well. Police officers are our neighbors, customers, friends and family members. It is moments like these that it is most important to remember that the police are the community and that policing should affirm the values of the community—which must include a respect for the dignity of all citizens.

We remain mindful of the mistreatment of a youth in Indianapolis by a police officer. We also remain mindful of the need to break the code of silence when law enforcement seeks justice for victims of crime.  The work of building and maintaining healthy police and community relations continues. The dignity of all members of the community is sacred and when violated we should be able to count on a justice system that works for all. Too often, it seems that this has not been the case—which is why our struggle for justice and equity for all continues. We ask that our friends, neighbors and colleagues of all races mourn with us and engage in a dialog on the way forward. Indy is a world class city and must be proactive in ensuring that all of its citizens are not only safe but treated with the dignity they deserve.

  • 100 Black Men of Indianapolis
  • Baptist Minister’s Alliance
  • Circle City (IN) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated
  • Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis
  • EdFit
  • Exchange at the Indianapolis Urban League
  • Greater Indianapolis Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
  • Greater Indianapolis NAACP Branch
  • Indiana Black Expo
  • Indianapolis Urban League
  • Marion County Bar Association
  • Martin Luther King Community Center
  • National Coalition of 100 Black Women/Indianapolis Chapter
  • OpportunIndy

Sen. Dan Coats released a statement:

“The Book of James tells us that life is a ‘vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.’ Sadly, this week the fragility of human life has been reinforced to all Americans through the tragic events in Baton Rouge, St. Paul and Dallas.

“Our nation is hurting, and I mourn with the many who have lost loved ones or experienced tragedy. In the midst of sadness, we must commend the bravery of dedicated law enforcement officers in Indiana and across our country, many of whom run into harm’s way on a daily basis to protect the lives of those they serve.

“At this critical time, we must pull together and remember what unites us as Americans. In times of distress, we always pull together – regardless of race, religion or creed – to condemn evil and work toward making our communities safer. This effort will require collaboration from our political leadership, law enforcement officials, civic leaders, pastors and every American citizen.

“Our prayers need to be for those who are mourning, and our works need to be directed toward the peace, healing and reconciliation that will overcome divisiveness and violence in our country.”

Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder sent the following statement:

Our worst fears in the law enforcement profession became a reality with the tragic murder of multiple Dallas Police Officers that we as a nation have watched unfold. Our Indianapolis police community sincerely prays for the fallen, the injured and their families as the stark realities of this lethal attack fully comes into focus.

We have witnessed the most significant attack on law enforcement since 9/11 in what appears to be a coordinated planned assault specifically focused on those who don the police uniform.

Law is the safeguard of freedom, when those who swear to uphold the law fall under attack it threatens the fabric of our society.

Unfortunately, our country has been visibly reminded of the dangers our law enforcement officers face every day. Our police officers are not only heroes for what they do, but for what they may have to do as well. Tragically, we have again seen multiple officers lay down their lives for their fellow citizens, many of which they will never know.

Locally, our residents are humbled once again by watching the resolve of our Indianapolis peace officers as they arise and strap on their body armor, duty belts and badges while they faithfully step forward to steadfastly stand the line between good and evil. While heartbroken, they know all too well what is at stake. It is the same fragile balance between order and chaos which existed long before this attack and remains here after. Thank God for such women and men who courageously stand firm in such uncertain times.

Our Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police has reached out to our counterparts in Dallas, Fort Worth and throughout Texas to express our condolences and to assure them we stand ready to assist in the coming days as they lay their fallen to rest. In the interim, we humbly ask all Hoosiers to display blue lights in symbolic support for those who stand the line between good and evil. We also share that a simple, “thank you” to law enforcement officers for their faithful service and sacrifice goes a long way.

As we move forward, may we have faith in an abiding God and pray these events turn our nation toward his presence in our lives.

Several area police departments have tweeted their support for Dallas:

Scotty’s Brewhouse locations said uniformed officers can eat for free today:

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