On Tuesday, President Obama traveled to Baton Rouge, La. and toured flood damage in the area. He also delivered a brief press statement about our “heartbroken” nation and spoke with those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the catastrophic waters. Then he ducked off to another important meeting in this city that has seen so much sorrow over the past few months.
Away from the cameras, Obama privately consoled the relatives of victims who have been killed in recent Baton Rouge violence. In doing so, he met with the family of Alton Sterling, who was shot at point blank range by officers outside a convenience store. Sterling’s death sparked protests in the city and increased tensions between protesters and authorities. Two weeks after officers shot Sterling, a gunman ambushed and killed three members of the Baton Rouge police department and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office. Obama met with the families of both the deceased and injured officers as well before leaving the city.
These family meetings follow other somber speeches from Obama. On the day of the massacre against law enforcement, Obama condemned the attack “in the strongest sense of the word.” He also addressed the nation after Sterling’s death and stated that “all Americans should be deeply troubled” by these continuing tragedies.