WATCH: Joe Biden Calls for Violence to Stop After Dallas Shooting

With President Barack Obama already having spoken about the Dallas shootings, Vice President Joe Biden delivered the White House’s weekly address. In the short, three-minute statement, Biden honored the five police officers who were killed, noting that, while he didn’t personally know them, he knew people like them.

“They were the folks I grew up with: The boy with the most courage and the most compassion; the man with a brave heart and a generous soul, whose words were always encouraging; the son who made his mother proud every time he turned and smiled at her; and the friend who you could always count on,” Biden said. “Being a cop wasn’t just what they did. It was who they were—like every officer who joined for essentially the same reason. There was something about them that made them think they could help, that they should serve, that they had a duty.”

Biden noted that the officers killed and wounded were protecting peaceful protesters who were making their voices heard after the deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.

The Vice President, who was supposed to make a campaign appearance with Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania on Friday, praised Dallas’ reaction and quoted Dallas Police Chief David Brown. “There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city, all I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens,” Brown said.

The speech ended with Biden saying that it is just as important to voice displeasure with the criminal justice system as it is to stand by police.

Here’s the complete statement:

Although I didn’t know the five police officers who were killed, or the seven who were wounded in Dallas this week – I knew them.

They were the folks I grew up with: The boy with the most courage and the most compassion; the man with a brave heart and a generous soul, whose words were always encouraging; the son who made his mother proud every time he turned and smiled at her; and the friend who you could always count on. Being a cop wasn’t just what they did. It was who they were—like every officer who joined for essentially the same reason. There was something about them that made them think they could help, that they should serve, that they had a duty.

So when an assassin’s bullet targeted the police force in Dallas, it touched the soul of the nation. Those killed and wounded were protecting the safety of those who were peacefully protesting against racial injustices in the criminal justice system. Those who were marching against the kind of shocking images we saw in St. Paul and Baton Rouge—and have seen too often elsewhere—of too many black lives lost.

I believe the Dallas Police Department is one of the finest in the nation—and this incredibly diverse city can bridge any divide. To paraphrase Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, let us use our words carefully. Let us act with unity, not division. As Dallas Police Chief David Brown—one of the leading chiefs in America—said, “There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city, all I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

As Americans, we are wounded by all of these deaths. It’s on all of us to stand up, to speak out about disparities in our criminal justice system—just as it’s on all of us to stand up for the police who protect us in our communities every day. In the days and weeks ahead, we’ll continue offering our thoughts and prayers to provide comfort to the broken-hearted families. But they will only be redeemed by the courage of our actions that honor their memories.

So while we’re being tested, we can’t be pulled apart. We are America, with bonds that hold us together. We endure, we persevere, we overcome, we stand together.

You can read about the victims of the Dallas shooting here:

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