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Loretta Lynch on Dallas attacks: “reject the easy impulses of bitterness and rancor”

In the wake of the tragic ambush attacks on a peaceful protest in Dallas, Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a call for peace and unity Friday, imploring the American people to "reject the easy impulses of bitterness and rancor."

At least five police officers were shot and killed and others injured Thursday night, after at least one known sniper opened fire at a protest organized in response to the fatal police shootings of two black men earlier this week. According to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, one suspect, who was killed in a police shootout at the incident, said he "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers."

In light of the heightened racial implications of the earlier officer-involved shootings, and the ambush attack, Lynch called on Americans to remain unified and "embrace the difficult work of finding a path forward together."

"After the events of this week, Americans across our country are feeling a sense of helplessness and fear," she said. "Now, these feelings are understandable and they are justified. But the answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence."

She continued:

We must remind ourselves that we're all Americans. And that as Americans, we share not just a common land, but a common life. Not just common goals, but a common heart and soul.

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Do not be discouraged by those who would use your lawful actions as a cover for their heinous violence. We will continue to safeguard your constitutional rights and to work with you in the difficult mission of building a better nation and a brighter future.

And to all Americans, I ask you, I implore you, do not let this week precipitate a new normal in this country. I ask you to turn to each other, not against each other as we move forward. Let us support one another. Let us help heal one another. And I urge you to remember today and every day that we are one nation, we are one people and we stand together.