Gov. McAuliffe: 'Not a time for divisive and incendiary rhetoric'

Published: Jul. 8, 2016 at 6:42 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2017 at 8:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Lawmakers from Virginia called for communities to come together following officer-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota this week and the slaying of five officers in Dallas on Thursday night.

"This is not a time for divisive and incendiary rhetoric," said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. "It is a time for thoughtful and courageous action to reduce violence, build trust and respect between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and make these events as rare as they are tragic."

Read McAuliffe and other full statements below:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe:

Dorothy and I are heartbroken by the hateful act of violence last night in Dallas that resulted in the deaths and injuries of brave men and women who were protecting others as they exercised their right to protest peacefully in a free society. We continue to pray for the families and communities in Louisiana and Minnesota who are mourning today in the wake of recent tragedies. This is not a time for divisive and incendiary rhetoric -- it is a time for thoughtful and courageous action to reduce violence, build trust and respect between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and make these events as rare as they are tragic.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam:

Pam and I are heartbroken over the horrific violence against the police in Dallas. With so much violence and tragedy in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Baton Rouge, this is a time for our nation to come together and heal. Having cared for those who are wounded in service of our country, I know the sacrifice these officers make and my prayers are with the victims, their families, all first responders and all communities affected by violence.

State Attorney General Mark Herring

Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and all the officers killed or fighting for their lives right now in Dallas...they all deserved to go home to their families. It's been heartbreaking to literally watch these men's death at the end of a gun through the lens of a phone. Their deaths are tragedies witnessed by a nation, but they are personal tragedies for heartbroken families and communities in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas. It's hard to say it much better than President Obama did. Violence like this isn't the concern of any one segment of our nation. It is an American issue that we should all care about.

In Virginia, we're working every day to make communities safer, to combat gun violence, and to help give our officers the training in 21st century policing that can help keep officers and members of their communities safe. These efforts will continue, but today, we should take time to mourn those lost and reflect on what each of us can do to honor their memories by building the safer, more equal, more just society we all want.

Statement from House Speaker Bill Howell

Our hearts go out to the Dallas law enforcement officers who were injured and brutally murdered in the line of duty last night. The Virginia House of Delegates offers its condolences and prayers to the families of the officers, the Dallas law enforcement community, and the entire city of Dallas.

This senseless violence is inexcusable. Violence against law enforcement is no way to mourn the tragic loss of life in Louisiana and Minnesota and no way to further the dialogue our nation needs. America is unique because of its ability to resolve differences through political and judicial institutions instead of resorting to violence.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment

An attack on law enforcement is an attack on the safety of every citizen and on our entire system of justice. We mourn the loss of the officers in Dallas and share in the grief of their families, the people of Dallas, and the law enforcement community throughout the United States.

The safety of all Americans depends upon the brave men and women who risk their lives every day in service to their fellow citizens. Having worked closely with law enforcement professionals in Virginia for decades, I know first-hand just how dedicated our police officers and sheriff's deputies are. And, I know the extent of the tremendous sacrifices made by them and their families.

Today, our prayers are with the families and colleagues of the fallen officers in Dallas. While we are all affected by these horrific events, their grief is immeasurable.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner

I am horrified that police officers in Dallas were viciously targeted and killed in the line of duty. I join their families, the broader law enforcement community, and the City of Dallas in mourning the lives that were lost.

These police officers were working to protect our freedom of speech, and they paid the ultimate price trying to keep safe those who were assembling peaceably. There is no justification whatsoever for this heinous act of violence, and we must seek justice for them and their families.

Injustice cannot be rectified by another act of injustice. Grief affects all of us, and does not discriminate by color or profession. It is time for us come together as a nation so we can teach our children that they live in a world where hate is not the driving force for our actions, and where individuals are valued for their full worth and potential.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

The shootings in Dallas last night were a brazen and calculated attack on brave police officers doing their jobs to protect their fellow citizens. I join Americans across the country in condemning this horrific act of senseless violence, mourning the loss of five law enforcement heroes and praying for the recovery of those wounded.

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