UPDATE: 3:25 p.m. EDT — U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a speech aimed at both unifying the country and addressing concerns over racial strife during a memorial service Tuesday for five police officers killed in a Dallas mass shooting.
"We are not divided as we seem," Obama said. "I know that because I know America."
Obama said the five officers had answered the call to serve and were committed to protecting their community. The shooter, who was African-American, specifically targeted Dallas officers last week because of law enforcement officials' treatment of people of color and the recent killings of black men at the hands of police officers.
"The deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened," Obama said.
Obama praised the Dallas police force, which he said had been at the forefront of improving relations in the community. He also asked the country to have an honest and open conversation. The overwhelming majority of police officers do their job professionally and deserve our respect, Obama said. But when it comes to prejudice, "none of our institutions are completely immune," he added.
Discussing bias in police, he said, is "not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals."
"If we're to honor these five outstanding officers who we lost, we need to act on the truths we know," Obama said.
U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak in Dallas Tuesday afternoon after last week's shooting that killed five police officers in the city. The speech is expected to both mourn the loss of the officers and attempt to reassure the country over concerns of a deepening racial divide.
The Dallas shooting was carried out by an African-American shooter who reportedly targeted officers in response to police treatment of people of color. It took place at a protest against recent fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.
Obama huddled with speechwriters for a good portion of the day Monday in an attempt to strike the correct tone, The New York Times reported. The president has made similar such speeches many times during his more than seven years in office, addressing mass shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, and Newton, Connecticut, among others.
"It's been a tough week for our country," said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, on Monday. "And the president recognizes that it's not just people in Dallas who are grieving, but people all across the country who are concerned about the violence that so many Americans have witnessed in the last week or so. And the truth is, this is violence that we've been witnessing not just in the last week but far too often over the last several years. And I think many Americans are troubled by it. And the president is hoping to offer some measure of comfort tomorrow."
Tuesday's speech is expected to specifically address the rift between black communities and police, the Associated Press reported. When previously addressing the Dallas shooting, Obama warned against thinking that a "troubled individual speaks to some larger political statement" across the nation. "It doesn't," he said.
Tuesday's speech is scheduled to begin at 1:40 p.m. EDT. You can find a livestream by clicking here or simply watch the embedded video below.