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A Nation Gathers to Honor 5 Slain Dallas-Area Police Officers

Live coverage from Breitbart Texas of the memorial service for the five slain police officers from Dallas, Texas. All times CDT.

Live Updates:

Update During/After the President’s Speech: Twitter users posted criticisms of the President’s use of the service to push gun control and a “race” or “racial” agenda and to make a political speech:

Update 2:47: The president was criticized by one Twitter user saying, “with Obama it’s ALWAYS about race …even at a memorial service to honor 5 brave fallen heroes. #Dallas”

Update 2:45: More criticism of the president but another acknowledged he had to perform a “Hell of a balancing act.” The president spoke for 40 minutes.

Update 2:40: Twitter reactions to the President’s remarks.

Update 2:33: Presidents Obama and Bush left the stage along with the other dignitaries.

Update 2:32: A touching set of photos of President and Mrs. Bush, the Bidens, and the Obamas.

Update 2:30: Following the President’s remarks a chorus with members of the Dallas Police Department and others sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The officials on the stage were holding hands when the choir was singing the hymn and exclaiming “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.” They all turned towards the choir and clapped after the choir concluded their powerfully performed song.

Update 2:18: After the president’s comments on gun control and guns, there was an immediate response on Twitter.

Update 1:46: President Barack Obama’s remarks. The President acknowledged the dignitaries, police officers and others. To Chief Brown, the President said, “I am so glad I met Michelle first, because she loves Stevie Wonder.”

“Scripture tells us that in our suffering there is glory.”

“Right now, those words test us because the people of Dallas, the people of our country are suffering.”

He said we must try to find some meaning from their pain and suffering. He said last Thursday began like any other day. He described how when you head to work, it is unlike that of a police officer.

“From the moment you put on that uniform, you have answered a calling that may put your life in harm’s way.”

The President talked about the five officers and their families. He described how one officer bought dinner for a homeless man the night before his death.

Michalel Krol’s mother said he knew the dangers of the job. He traveled from Michigan to Dallas to protect the people of the city.

“These men shared a commitment to something bigger than themselves.”

“The reward comes in knowing that our entire way of life in American depends on the rule of law.” He said we don’t have the military and militia patrolling our streets. He said, “Instead, we have public servants.” He described the officers defending the constitutional rights of those who were protesting against them.

“These men and their department did their jobs like the professionals they were.”

He described photos of the police officers standing good-naturedly with protesters with anti-police signs.

He discussed the shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana and then the ambush of the officers fueled by “racial hatred.”

Officers “were upholding the constitutional rights of [individuals]” when they answered the calls involving Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

“I understand how Americans are feeling,” the President said. “We must reject such dispair. I know how far we have come against impossible odds.”

“I know it because of what we have seen here in Dallas,” he said. He described how Dallas residents have shown the meaning of hope and perseverence.

“They did not flinch and they did not react recklessly.”

“They saved more lives than we will ever know.”

Quoting from the Book of John, Obama said, “Let us not just love with words, but with actions and truth.” The president said the majority of police officers “are deserving of our respect and not our scorn.” He said when they are portrayed otherwise, these people are doing a disservice. Moreover, when there is rhetoric calling for the killing of police officers, we make their already dangerous job, more dangerous.

“We mourn fewer people today because of your brave actions.” The president described how everyone helped each other. He talked about police shielding Shetamia Taylor and her son after she had been shot. He said that now, her son wants to become a cop when he grows up.

He received extended applause when he mentioned that Shetamia Taylor’s son wanted to be an officer saying, “That is the America I know.” Breitbart Texas reported that the mother shot during the attack said, “They were really heroes for us.”

He said of Dallas PD and Chief Brown, “I could not be prouder of you.” He said the department “has been doing it right.” And kept saying, “That is the America I know.”

He discussed Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown, a white man and a black man, working together to unify the city. He praised the results of the City’s efforts to reduce crime and complaints against police. “Thank you for your example.”

“In this audience, I see what is possible when we realize we are one family,” he explained. “That’s the America I know.”

“I have spoken at too many memorials in the course of this presidency,” he stated.

He described how the unity felt after a tragedy can fade as people get back to business as usual.

“If we’re to sustain the unity we need to get through these difficult times, if we are to honor these five outstanding officers, then we will need to act on the truths that we know,” the President said.

He said police officers are “deserving of respect and not our scorn.”

I know Americans are struggling” with the events of last week. “This has all left us wounded, and angry, and hurt.”

“When anyone paints all police as biased or bigoted, we undermine our safety.” The President condemned those who call for harming or killing police.

“Race relations have improved greatly in my lifetime,” he said and he criticized those who deny it.

The President discussed the civil injustice of the application of law enforcement. He encouraged parents to teach their children how to interact politely with police.

“We cannot dismiss those who protest as trouble makers or paranoid,” he said about those protesting police activities.

He said Chief Brown is right about asking police to do too much. “We ask too little of ourselves.” — Standing ovation from audience.

He discussed the refusal to fund mental health and then talked about it being too easy to get guns.

Addressing gun control, Obama said that it is easier for a teenager to get his hands on a Glock than a computer. He said that drug and mental health issues are not properly funded or addressed.

The President discussed the many things we ask police officers to do that is beyond their responsibility. He said we act surprised when that stress boils over.

The President criticized the protesters who refuse to recognize the dangers faced by police. He said “we must forge consensus.’

“Can we do this?” he asked. “Can we find the character in America” to help each other? “It makes us human.”

“I too, experience doubt,” he said. “I’ve been to too many of these things.”

“I know Americans are struggling” with the events of last week. “This has all left us wounded, and angry, and hurt.”

Obama described what he said was “a new heart” in the citizens in Dallas these past few days. He said police should see the young person in a hoodie as his own son. He continued that the young person should see the officer with the same respect and authority as a parent.

“Even those who dislike the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ should be able to hear the pain of Alton Sterling’s family.”

“We know there is evil in this world,” Obama said. “That’s why we need police departments.”

Update 1:40: Chief David Brown addresses the crowd and described his youth in Dallas. He said when he met a pretty girl he could never figure out the right words to say. He said he would recite the lyrics of music to help get a date. “Today, I will put out some Stevie Wonder” for the families.

“Change your words into love.” He quoted from Wonder’s “I’ll be loving you.”

Update 1:37: Mayor Mike Rawlings described the leadership of the chiefs of the DART and DPD police departments and thanked them for what they have done this week. All rose to their feet to recognize these leaders. He then introduced Chief David Brown, a man who grew up in South Oak Cliff, one of the city’s poorest communities.

He said these five men gave their lives, loving you.

He then introduced President Obama.

Update 1:31: President Bush said he encounters Dallas police officers every day and considers him as friends. “Our mayor and chief of police have been mighty inspirations for the rest of the nation. These slain police officers have been among the best of us.”

The former president named the fallen officers and talked about each of them describing one officer as a “loyal Texas Rangers fan.”

“Every officer has accepted a calling that sets them apart.” He described how police officers will lay down their lives to protect people they have never met.

“The shock of this evil still has not faded,” he said describing the ambush of the officers.

“Ambush by hatred and malice; shock of this evil still has not faded. ”

He said we reach our best dreams under the protection of the men and women in uniform.

“We will not forget what they did for us.” He pledged that we will stand by the families of the fallen officers.

Update 1:30: Senator Cornyn introduces President George W. Bush, a Dallas resident.

Update 1:26: Remarks from U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). Cornyn noted Chief David Brown’s comment from Monday where he said, “Dallas loves.” Cornyn said, “Being a Texan doesn’t denote where you are from, it denotes who your family is.”

“These officers were not overcome by evil. They chose to confront evil.” He talked about the officers sacrificing their own lives so that others could live. He discussed their running towards the sound of gunfire to protect each other and their citizens.

“We honor and remember these officers… for protecting this city.”

Update 1:21: Dallas residents gather outside in the Klyde Warren Park in the 92-degree heat to watch the memorial service. The park is in the heart of downtown Dallas.

Update 1:20: President Obama is going to address those gathered shortly.

Update 1:20: Musical tribute being presented by soloist and chorus.

Musical tribute

Update 1:20: Live video streaming from NBCDFW:

There were other than positive responses to the Imam at the service:

Update 1:15: Opening prayers from religious leaders from various faiths begin.

Update 1:09: Mayor Rawlings, “I am in awe of our Dallas police officers.” Audience rises to their feet in tribute to police. “I am never been more proud of my city — our city. This is our chance to lead and build a new model for a community, a city. We will mourn together.”

Update: 1:07: Five seats have been left open for the slain Dallas police officers.

Update 1:06: Mayor Rawlings pays tribute to the families of the fallen officers and to those wounded officers as well. “Today must be about unity.”

Update 1:05: Photo of Presidents Obama, Bush and Vice President Biden and their wives.

Update 1:02: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings opens the ceremony and reads the names of the five slain officers. “On behalf of the Dallas citizens and our great Dallas city council we want to say thank you for accepting our invitation [to honor the police officers].” The mayor introduces dignitaries.

Update 1:00: President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, and other VIP officials arrive and the choir sings the National Anthem.

Update 12:56: The Presidential Seal has been affixed to speaker’s podium.

Update 12:55: Five empty seats adorned with folded American flags and the police officers’ service hats represent the five slain officers. Portraits of the five men are present in front of the auditorium.

Update 12:50: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have arrived in Dallas to attend the interfaith memorial service being held at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush will be addressing the assembled police officers, family members and dignitaries gathered to pay tribute to Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Officer Brent Thompson, and Dallas Police Department Officers Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarripa, Corporal Lorne Ahrens, and Sergeant Michael Smith.

The service will also be attended by Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and other state and federal officials. Police officers from across the United States have traveled to Dallas to stand in solidarity with the City of Dallas and its police departments.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

 

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