On his way to Alaska this afternoon, President Obama called Kathleen Goforth, the widow of the slain Texas Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth who was shot and killed at a gas station while he was fueling a police cruiser.
“On behalf of the American people, I offered Mrs. Goforth my condolences and told her that Michelle and I would keep her and her family in our prayers,” Obama said in a statement released this evening.
Obama said that he promised Goforth’s widow that he would continue to praise bravery of police officers who served their communities.
“Targeting police officers is completely unacceptable — an affront to civilized society,” Obama said.
The suspect, Shannon J. Miles, was charged for the execution-style shooting, accused of firing 15 shots into Goforth’s body at close range.
In his statement, Obama reminded Americans what he said about police officers during his Statue of the Union speech in February.
“As I said in my State of the Union Address, we’ve got to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the door at the end of his shift,” he said. “That comfort has been taken from Mrs. Goforth. So we must offer her our comfort – and continue to stand up for the safety of police officers wherever they serve.”
Obama’s statement was released after Texas Senator Ted Cruz criticized attacks on police officers, accusing the president of contributing to the rhetoric that was causing unprovoked attacks.
“Cops across this country are feeling the assault,” Cruz said while campaigning in New Hampshire. ”They’re feeling the assault from the President, from the top on down as we see, whether it’s in Ferguson or Baltimore, the response of senior officials of the President, of the Attorney General, is to vilify law enforcement. That is fundamentally wrong, and it is endangering the safety and security of us all.”