Graves Statement About Police Officer Shootings in Baton Rouge
I am sorry to the families of the officers killed and injured today, and our prayers are with them.
The violent attacks on our law enforcement are disgusting and do not represent who we are as a community, city or nation. This is senseless hatred, plain and simple. These types of actions provide no productive path forward.
In the immediate days following the Alton Sterling shooting, we saw peaceful protests and expressions of concern. There were virtually no protestor-police interactions. It was not until outsiders came in, attempted to redefine our community and incite violence did conditions change. Again, this is not who we are.
South Louisiana has had more than our share of crisis and disasters -- some of the worst hurricanes, floods, plant explosions, ships sinking and the nation's worst oil spill. People would give their shirt off their back to help their neighbors and community.
This is not who we are as a community in Baton Rouge or as a people in America. Hostility will not bring healing or progress or move us closer to a solution.
Like our military men and women who defend our freedoms abroad, law enforcement underpins the ability to peacefully enjoy our liberties here. Failing to respect that fact erodes the rule of law that holds us together.
Our hearts are heavy. The officers and deputies who lost their lives, who are fighting for life and are healing from injuries are our neighbors - they are our friends. They have families. They are Baton Rouge. And, frankly, they were just doing their jobs.
We will stand with the law enforcement community to see that swift justice is done.