House Republican and Democratic leaders on Friday urged unity in the wake of the shooting deaths of five police officers Thursday night in Dallas, Texas, the most deadly loss of life of law enforcement officials since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“There’s going to be a temptation to let our anger send us further into our corners, let’s not let that happen,” Speaker Paul Ryan said on the House floor. “That script is just too easy to write, it’s too predictable. Let’s defy those predictions.”
The Wisconsin Republican urged against politicizing the issue.
“The blame lies with the people who committed these vicious acts, and no one else, and as the president rightfully said, justice will be done,” he said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke in agreement after Ryan’s speech.
“I agree with the speaker that episodes like this must not harden our divisions but should unify us as a country,” the California Democrat said on the floor. “We are all horrified by this despicable act of violence.”
The shootings occurred at the tail end of what to that point had been a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest following recent police shootings of black Americans in Louisiana and Minnesota.
“This has been a long week for our country. It’s been a long month for America. We have seen terrible, senseless things,” Ryan said. “Every member of this body — every Republican and every Democrat — wants to see less gun violence.”