Pelosi Floor Remarks on Dallas Shootings and Deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

July 8, 2016
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks today on the House floor following the shootings in Dallas, Texas and the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The ambush and murder of police officers during a peaceful protest is a tragedy that tears it at the heart of every American.  I agree with the Speaker that episodes like this must not harden our divisions but should unify us as a country.  We are all horrified by this despicable act of violence and we share in the shock and grief for the officers killed, their loved ones and the entire Dallas community.  When these officers left their homes earlier in the day, there's always the chance that they would be in danger.  Right now we don't even know the names of all of them.  The names have not yet been released, but I do want to acknowledge DART officer Brent Thompson and those whose names have yet to be released, as well as those who were wounded, including one civilian.

“Many questions have yet to be answered, but whatever the motivation of the perpetrators of this horrible crime, it is clear that those perpetrators of this vile act have an agenda of evil.  The past few days have seen too much death and too much heartbreak.  As Rev. Martin Luther King wrote, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’

“And that, of course, reminds me of our glorious song of Saint Francis, which is the anthem of my city of San Francisco that I call upon now.  ‘Saint Francis, appeal to the Lord.  Make me an instrument of thy peace.  Where there is darkness may I bring light.  Where there is hatred may I bring love.  Where there is despair may I bring hope.’”

“I associate myself with the remarks of the Speaker when he referenced our President.  Justice will be done.  Justice must be done.  We must also – mercy must be done.  And as we do that, as we seek mercy and justice, I also want to reference a remark of the Mayor of Dallas when he said, ‘We must get to the root causes of what happened last night.’  And in that spirit, I want to also acknowledge Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile.  We have to get the facts and to the root causes of what caused these tragedies.

“In the spirit of Martin Luther King and of Saint Francis of Assisi, we must continue the work of nonviolence and demand an end to senseless killing everywhere.  We must do so while sharing our common values, our faith in the dignity and worth of every person, the spark of divinity that lives in all of them and our tremendous, tremendous grief in the loss of life.

“Just in particular, for the families of the police officers: thank you.  Thank you for sharing your loved ones with us.  We pray that it is a comfort to you that so many people mourn your loss and are praying for you at this sad time.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”