RAW VIDEO | Mayor Fischer tells Louisville that 'revenge is not - WDRB 41 Louisville News

RAW VIDEO | Mayor Fischer tells Louisville that 'revenge is not justice'

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called on the city to mourn the loss of five Dallas police officers -- as well as all who have lost their lives to injustice -- during a vigil inside Metro Hall Friday afternoon.

Flanked by Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad, as well as several LMPD officers and community activists, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer addressed the city, calling on Louisville residents to, "replace fear with trust, and resentment with personal respect."

Fischer said that the nation has seen tragic events play out in places like Dallas, but "that does not have to be our city." He recalled the spirit of togetherness he said was felt during the recent funeral of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

"That is the Louisville that I know, and the Louisville that I trust," Fischer said.

He added that police have, "my full support, my gratitude and my respect."

"It takes something special to do this work," Fischer said. "You have to have that to run towards danger while others run away."

That said, Fischer said that work must be done to improve relations between police and the public, adding that some people "fear for their lives" when they see police lights.

"This is a confusing time to be living in America," Fischer said, adding a moment later that, "the almost daily drumbeat of gun violence...wears on us all."

"This is not a situation when you have to pick a side," Fischer said, explaining that residents can support both law enforcement and people of color.

Above all, Fischer urged people with strong feelings not to resort to violence.

"Revenge is not justice -- and we cannot honor the victims of injustice by creating more victims," he said.

A moment of silence was held shortly thereafter.

Stay with WDRB News. We'll update this story as it develops.

NOTE: Below is a transcript of the speech, provided by the mayor's office:

Text of Mayor Greg Fischer’s speech during vigil on July 8, 2016.

We began this week celebrating the birth of our country.  And in the days since, we’ve had too many reasons to question where we are as a nation and where we’re going, 240 years after declaring our independence.

We are gathered here to honor the five police officers in Dallas whose lives were taken in yesterday’s tragedy. We also want to respect the lives of the two men in Louisiana and Minnesota whose deaths served as another reminder of how much work we need to do as a nation to help each of us -- public servant and private citizen -- recognize and respect our common humanity.

We see tragic narratives play out in other cities. That does not have to be our city. These times make us ask fundamental questions of ourselves, as individuals and as a collective city.

Who are we? What do we stand for? What have we shown each other and the world?

Let me share who I think we are. Look at the week celebrating Muhammad Ali’s life – that’s who we are. It was a beautiful community mobilization that brought our police officers and our citizens together, walking side-by-side all week and especially as the funeral procession made its way through the city. 

The world watched as Louisville showed that officers and citizens from every neighborhood could come together, could work together, could create a community together, with a single purpose and compassion.  That is the Louisville I know and trust.

That’s the spirit we have to embrace today and tomorrow and every day going forward, even in the face of tragedy.  We’ve been tested before – Baltimore, Ferguson, San Bernardino, Orlando – sadly, I could go on.  We will surely be tested again.  

Our police put their lives on the line for us every day. I feel tremendous gratitude to the men and women of the Louisville Metro Police Department and all of our local public safety professionals.  It takes something special to do this work, a unique blend of courage and compassion. You have to have that if you run toward danger while others run away.

Their work makes possible everything else we do as a city.  To all of our public safety professionals, I want each of you to know that you have my full support, my gratitude and my respect.

Thank you for the work you do, for the challenge you’ve accepted. We’ve never needed good, courageous and compassionate police officers more than we do today.

At the same time, strong leaders, whether they be police, activists or every-day citizens, have to acknowledge that there are issues we must face together – citizens, police and government. This is a confusing time to be living in America. We all must acknowledge:

Too many of our citizens feel that public safety is something that happens at their expense rather than for their benefit.  Do we want our children to grow up in a society where some law-abiding citizens view a traffic stop as a momentary inconvenience, while others fear for their lives when they see a flashing police light?

Too many police officers feel disrespected and looked down upon for doing their job – running into harm’s way – just as the police officers in Dallas did last night.

The almost daily drumbeat of gun violence – whether it be a massacre or shootings in our streets – wears on us all and creates unease and concern.

Poverty and lack of opportunity lead to hopelessness and disconnection

It is only natural for all of us to be upset, even enraged – but to escalate these feelings into a violent reaction is wrong for society and counterproductive to a peaceful city where opportunity must be the standard.

So there is no choice but to live with these questions and work to find answers. And this is not a situation where you pick a side.

Supporting police and supporting communities of color are not mutually exclusive.

We have to both support our police officers, and acknowledge the pain and injustice in too many of our communities.

We must continue to build trust and respect among our communities.  We’re working to do that now with programs like Peace Walks, Youth Chats, Coffee with a Cop, Street Teams and much more.  And we know we have to do more.  We have to replace fear with trust, and resentment with mutual respect. 

After a day like yesterday, I understand that among police officers and citizens, there is anger, even rage ...  and a desire to do something, to take action. 

But revenge is not justice.  And we cannot honor the victims of injustice by creating more victims. 

Justice and due process are the rights all citizens deserve and are guaranteed under our Constitution.

Let’s continue to work together to build even better trust and to create one community, one Louisville we can all call home – and one that is a beacon of hope for our children.

We will us now have a minute of silence to honor the fallen police officers in Dallas, and all who have lost their lives due to injustice, and to call for the healing of our communities and our nation.

Copyright 2016 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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