The President of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police has issued a statement praising the herois of the Dallas Police Department, some whom were wounded or died while protecting citizens from a sniper intent on shooting officers, and also critical of the actions of President Barak Obama.

Chris Southwood said in a statement, “What happened in Dallas was a purely evil, cowardly act… The fallen are heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice serving and protecting the community they loved. Ironically, these heroes, some of whom were shot in the back, were protecting participants at an anti-police protest. Our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers go to the fallen and their families, the survivors and their families, friends and fellow law enforcement officers, as well as the civilians who were injured by these despicable acts.

He goes on to say,  “We also express our disappointment with the current President, who vowed to unite the country and now eight years later we are more divided than before. More and more people think it is OK to demonize and urge violence against police officers, and this is a situation the President has done little to correct. I call upon all our political leadership, state and national, to tell the nation specifically what they intend to do to stop the senseless slayings of those who protect our way of life in every American community.”

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police says it is the second largest State Lodge in the nation representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers.