Barack Obama to travel to Dallas, cut European trip short: White House

US President Barack Obama (centre) with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg (left) and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland.
US President Barack Obama (centre) with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg (left) and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland.PHOTO: REUTERS

WARSAW (AFP) - President Barack Obama will cut short a trip to Europe and travel to Dallas next week in the wake of the deadly ambush in the city that left five police dead, the White House said Friday (July 8).

"The president has accepted an invitation from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to travel to Dallas early next week," spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement, adding that Mr Obama would return to the United States Sunday night - one day ahead of schedule.

Mr Obama, who was in Warsaw this week attending a Nato summit, weighed in on the attacks from the Polish capital, calling the episode "vicious, calculated and despicable."

Micah Johnson, the 25-year-old black Army veteran who carried out the sniper-style attack, killed five police while wounding seven more, as well as injuring two civilians.

 
 

Before being killed by police, he told officers he wanted to kill white cops in retaliation for the harsh treatment of blacks by law enforcement.

Earlier in the week, two black men were killed by officers in other US cities, drawing protests across the nation.

After traveling to Dallas, Earnest said Mr Obama will "continue the work to bring people together to support our police officers and communities and find common ground by discussing policy ideas for addressing the persistent racial disparities in our criminal justice system."

According to the White House, Mr Obama will depart for Madrid on Saturday. On Sunday he will meet with his Spanish counterpart before speaking to US military personnel serving at the naval base of Rota.

He is trimming a visit to Seville off his travel itinerary to arrive back in Washington Sunday night.