The United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Friday encouraged protesters not to allow the “heinous violence” that occurred in Dallas to silence their “important” voices.
Five police officers died and seven more were wounded in an ambush during a peaceful rally in Dallas on Thursday to protest the deaths of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota who were shot dead by police this week. Two civilians were also injured Thursday.
Lynch stressed that she is “deeply grateful” to law enforcement’s commitment to difficult and dangerous work to keep America safe but vowed that the Justice Department would do all it can to help. And she urged peaceful protesters not to give up.
“I want you to know that your voice is important,” Lynch said Friday during a news conference at the Justice Department. “Do not be discouraged by those who would use your lawful actions as cover for their heinous violence. We will continue to safeguard your constitutional rights and to work with you in the difficult mission of building a better nation and a brighter future.”
Lynch announced that the Justice Department will offer assistance to local law enforcement in Dallas, a city she described as a community “severely shaken and deeply scarred by an unfathomable tragedy.” She said DOJ and the agencies within it, including the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, will work alongside state and local officials there.
“We intend to provide any assistance we can to investigate this attack and also to help heal a community that has been severely shaken and deeply scarred by an unfathomable tragedy,” she said. “This is an unfolding situation. We will be providing additional information when it is available and appropriate. But more so, this has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss.”
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