Speaker of the House Paul Ryan delivered an emotional floor speech on Friday in response to the murders of five Dallas police officers.
“There is no cause or context in which this violence, this kind of terror is justified, none at all,” the Republican from Janesville said. “There will be a temptation to let our anger harden our divisions. Let’s not let that happen.”
Ryan made a specifically bipartisan appeal.
“Every member of this body – every Republican and every Democrat – wants to see less gun violence,” Ryan said. “Every member of this body wants a world in which people feel safe regardless of the color of their skin. And that’s not how people are feeling these days.”
“Let’s not lose sight of the values that unite us. The values that brought those protesters to the streets in Dallas, the values that brought those protesters to the streets in Washington last night — respect, decency, compassion, humanity,” Ryan said. “If we lose these fundamental things, what’s left?”
Police in Dallas have identified the suspect in Thursday’s sniper attack as 25-year-old Micah Johnson, an Army Reserve veteran who served in Afghanistan. Johnson lived in the Dallas area and had no recorded criminal record in Texas. Investigators have found no evidence that Johnson had ties to Black Lives Matter or any other political groups.