President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday not to see the country as being riven into opposing groups, seeking to soothe raw emotions after an attack that killed five policemen in Dallas and the high-profile police shootings of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.
"First of all, as painful as this week has been, I firmly believe that America is not as divided as some have suggested," Obama said.
"Americans of all races and all backgrounds are rightly outraged by the inexcusable attacks on police, whether it's in Dallas or any place else," he said, speaking at a news conference during a trip to Poland. "That includes protesters. It includes family members who have grave concerns about police conduct, and they have said that this is unacceptable."
Authorities have named former U.S. Army reservist Micah Johnson as the lone gunman in Thursday night's attack in Dallas, which came at the end of a rally to protest against police killings. They said he had embraced militant black nationalism and expressed anger over police shootings and a desire to "kill white people, especially white officers."
"The demented individual who carried out those attacks in Dallas, he's no more representative of African-Americans than the shooter in Charleston was representative of white Americans or the shooter in Orlando or San Bernardino were representative of Muslim-Americans," Obama said, referring to a string of mass shootings in the past year.