Holder calls police shootings 'act of barbarism'

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Holder calls police shootings 'act of barbarism'
Attorney General Eric Holder announces he is leaving the Department of Justice while U.S. President Barack Obama looks on. (WhiteHouse.gov)
A packed room watches Holder's speech. (WhiteHouse.gov)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 21: Attorney General Eric Holder makes a separated statement on the unrest after the unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, during a major financial fraud announcement press conference August 21, 2014 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. Holder spoke on the current situation in Ferguson one day after his visit to the town and met with Browns family, saying the investigation of the shooting will be thorough and will be fair, and Department of Justice stands with the people of Ferguson. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Eric Holder (L) is sworn-in as US Attorney General by US Vice President Joe Biden (R) as Holder's wife, Sharon (C) holds the Bible during ceremonies on February 3, 2009, at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
US Attorney General Eric H. Holder is sworn-in during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill May 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Holder and other members of the Obama administration are being criticized over reports of the Internal Revenue Services'(IRS) scrutiny of conservative organization's tax exemption requests and the subpoena of two months worth of Associated Press journalists' phone records. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 28: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a naturalization ceremony at the U.S. Department of Justice May 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. During the event Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas administered the Oath of Citizenship to approximately 70 new U.S. citizens. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Vice President Joseph Biden administers the oath of office to Attorney General Eric Holder during a ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009. At center is Holder's wife, Sharon Malone. At left is a portrait of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Barack Obama speaks with Attorney General Eric Holder as news photographers photograph their meeting regarding the fatal police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Attorney General Eric Holder, left, talks with Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew before while they wait for President Barack Obama to give State of Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, announcing a new action to protect voting rights. Emboldened by the Supreme Court decision that struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, a growing number of Republican-led states are moving aggressively to tighten voting rules. Lawsuits by the Obama administration and voting rights activists say those efforts disproportionately affect minorities. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - President Barack Obama sits with Attorney General Eric Holder during the 32nd annual the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington, honoring law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Eric Holder is condemning the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers as senseless and an "unspeakable act of barbarism."

The officers were shot Saturday in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Authorities say the gunman later killed himself.

In a statement Saturday night, Holder calls the attack "cowardly" and says it underscores the dangers that are routinely faced by those who protect and serve their fellow citizens.

Holder praises law enforcement officers as courageous men and women who routinely incur tremendous personal risks, and place their lives on the line every day to preserve public safety. He says all Americans are forever in their debt.

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