President Barack Obama pauses as he makes a statement on the fatal police shootings of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota after arriving in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, July 8, 2016. Obama traveled to Poland to attend the NATO summit and then will travel on to Spain. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Obama addresses police-involved shootings, deadly attack on Dallas police

On Saturday, Obama said America is "not as divided as some suggest" while admitting it has been "a very tough week" for the country.

Obama said Americans are "rightly outraged" by the deadly sniper attack on Dallas police officers, and "rightly saddened and angered" by the fatal police shootings of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

The president also addressed gun control issues, which has been a contentious issue in Congress.


After the sniper attack in Dallas that left five officers dead and injured a dozen, including two civilians, President Barack Obama addressed the incident Friday while at a NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland.

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In the wake of two police officer-involved shootings this week, President Barack Obama issued a statement Thursday on both.

Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police Tuesday outside of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, supermarket, where he had been selling CDs.

Philando Castile was shot by police in St. Paul, Minnesota, when he was allegedly stopped for a broken tail light. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, broadcasted a Facebook Live video of the aftermath of the shooting.

"Although I am constrained in commenting on the particular facts of these cases, I am encouraged that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge, and I have full confidence in their professionalism and their ability to conduct a thoughtful, thorough, and fair inquiry," Obama said in a statement on Facebook.

Related: Anger, protests after Baton Rouge police fatally shoot man

"But regardless of the outcome of such investigations, what's clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve."

Related: Alton Sterling: Second video shows fatal shooting by Baton Rouge police

Obama went on to mention the task force he set up in 2014, which "convened police officers, community leaders, and activists. Together, they came up with detailed recommendations on how to improve community policing. So even as officials continue to look into this week's tragic shootings, we also need communities to address the underlying fissures that lead to these incidents, and to implement those ideas that can make a difference."

Related: Family says man dead after Facebook video captures aftermath of officer-involved shooting

The president also urged that Americans recognize the emotions expressed by others from these events.

"In the meantime, all Americans should recognize the anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling -- feelings that are being expressed in peaceful protests and vigils. Michelle and I share those feelings. Rather than fall into a predictable pattern of division and political posturing, let's reflect on what we can do better. Let's come together as a nation, and keep faith with one another, in order to ensure a future where all of our children know that their lives matter."

While in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday to attend the NATO summit, Obama made a speech statement about the police officer-involved shootings, expounding on his previous remarks.  

"All of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings because these are not isolated incidents," Obama said. "They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system." 

"If you add it all up, Hispanic and African Americans who make up only 30 percent of the population make up more than half of the incarcerated population."

Obama also addressed law enforcement: "We know you have a tough job. We mourn those who protect us and lose their lives," adding that "there are going to be circumstances in which they have to make split-second decisions. We understand that." 

He said that although all lives matter, "the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these incidents."

The speech can be watched below:

"I'd just ask folks to step back and think: What if this happened to somebody in your family? How would you feel? To be concerned about these issues is not political correctness, it's just being American and wanting to live up to our best and highest ideals." —President Obama. Watch him speak on the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile:

Posted by The White House on Thursday, July 7, 2016

The full Facebook statement can be read below:

All Americans should be deeply troubled by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando...

Posted by President Obama on Thursday, July 7, 2016

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