Obama Shifts Response to NYPD Murders to White House Task Force

Investigators work at the scene where two NYPD officers were shot, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police said an armed man walked up to two officers sitting inside the patrol car and opened fire before running into a nearby subway …
AP Photo/John Minchillo

As President Obama continues to vacation with his family in Hawaii, he is also involved in responding to the murders of two New York City police officers.

After Obama spent most of the day golfing and on the beach with his family, White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz released a statement informing the press that the President had called Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the co-chair of his newly announced task force on 21st Century Policing.

According to Schultz, Obama called Ramsey “to express his outrage over the senseless murders” and to voice his support for the task force to “explore meaningful ways to engage law enforcement officials from across the nation.”

“The President offered his assistance, and made clear Administration officials will continue to monitor the situation in New York, and support the important work of the Task Force,” Schultz said.

Other members of the Obama administration have voiced their condemnation of the attacks. Attorney General Eric Holder described the murders as “cowardly,” “senseless,” and “an unspeakable act of barbarism.”

“This cowardly attack underscores the dangers that are routinely faced by those who protect and serve their fellow citizens,” he said. “As a nation we must not forget this as we discuss the events of the recent past. These courageous men and women routinely incur tremendous personal risks, and place their lives on the line each and every day, in order to preserve public safety. We are forever in their debt.”

According to The New York Times, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson visited the tragic scene on Saturday, leaving roses at the makeshift memorial and saying a prayer.

“Showing up counts with these officers – just being there,” he told the Times. “There is nothing eloquent you are expected to say, nothing specific you are expected to say. Just showing up matters a lot.”


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