Law enforcement and political leaders in Orange County decried the violence in Dallas.

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. Photo courtesy of the OCSD
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. Photo courtesy of the OCSD
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens issued a statement Friday expressing condolences to, and solidarity with, the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Area Rapid Transit force whose officers “unfortunately gave the full measure of their service, and in so doing, lost their lives.”

“Our hearts ache for them and for their families. And to those officers who were injured, we continue to pray for their full recovery,” she said. “The men and women of the Orange County California Sheriff’s Department stand firmly with you.”

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, said she was “horrified by the atrocious ambush and vicious murders of police officers who had been supervising a peaceful anti-violence protest in downtown Dallas.”

“This is the deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11. It’s especially chilling that these officers were shot in the line of duty while they were protecting the right of citizens to peacefully demonstrate,” said Sanchez, who is running for U.S. Senate against state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

“My heart breaks for the deadly gun violence we’ve seen around our country in just the last few days, in just the last week, and in just the last month,” Sanchez said. “More than ever, we cannot let violence and hatred divide us. We can’t defeat violence with violence. We need to heal and unify for the sake of our great country.”

Tom Dominguez, the president of the union that represents sheriff’s deputies, said the Dallas officers “were killed and injured simply for the badge they pin over their hearts.”

“They were doing their job — maintaining law and order and keeping their community safe. In doing their jobs, these true public servants laid down their own lives,” he said. “We mourn the loss of our fellow officers and their surviving family members and pray for their loved ones and the people of Dallas as they struggle to understand.”

In a statement issued as the Dallas rampage was still unfolding, he urged Orange County deputies to “stay extra vigilant during the coming days. Watch your back. Watch your partner’s back. Stay safe and keep Dallas in your prayers.”

Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, whose 47th District includes a large swatch of Orange County, said the sniper attack in Dallas, and the deadly officer-involved shootings of Philandro Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana, “are not individual incidents, occurring in a vacuum, outside the orbits of each other.”

“These tragedies are tied together by the threads of anger and fear,” he said. “They have filled me with horror, sadness and grief. In this moment, I have no solutions — but I refuse to stop working to find them.

“I have no cheerful comment to make the moment brighter — but I refuse to reject optimism in our future. What I do know is that this is not who we are as a people. We are stronger than fear and we are stronger than hate,” he said.

“I also know that we as a nation cannot allow ourselves to grow numb to this. Each of these deaths — each of these innocent lives lost — should cause each of us great sorrow and pain,” Lowenthal said.

“They should pain not just for the simple loss of human life, but also for the realization that their deaths, and the more than 90 people that die from gunfire each day in this nation, are the painful signs that something is profoundly wrong in our society. Fear and anger have never been our nation’s rudder. As the president said, ‘We are better than this.”‘

— City News Service

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