World: Obama condemns police killings
US President Barack Obama has strongly condemned the killings of two New York City police officers shot by a man who then killed himself yesterday.
Obama said the officers would not be going home to their loved ones “and for that, there is no justification”.
The two were killed while on patrol in Brooklyn. New York’s police chief says they were “targeted for their uniform”.
The gunman had posted anti-police messages online, amid continuing tensions over police tactics.
In a statement President Obama said: “I unconditionally condemn today’s murder of two police officers in New York City.”
“Officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day,” said Mr Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii.
The gunman – named as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28 – was a black man while the two officers, Liu Wenjin and Raphael Ramos, were Asian and Hispanic respectively.
Before shooting them, Brinsley suggested on social media that he was planning to kill police in retaliation for the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died when white officers tried to arrest him for selling cigarettes in New York.
Earlier this month, a grand jury decided not to indict an officer over his death. Last month, another grand jury also cleared a white officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, in Ferguson, Missouri.
Both decisions triggered nationwide protests.