Obama cites ‘deep unfairness’ in how laws are enforced – Politico
President Barack Obama reasserted his commitment Thursday to improving relations between law enforcement agencies and the people they police, alluding to the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
“Unfortunately in recent days,” there have been reminders of the “deep unfairness when it comes to the gap between our professed ideals and how laws are applied on a day-to-day basis,” Obama said.
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Obama’s comments came at the second College Opportunity Summit, an effort by the president and first lady Michelle Obama to expand access to higher education and improve students’ success.
The president also said he spoke with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier Thursday and “commended him for his words yesterday” and “for the way New Yorkers have been engaging in peaceful protests and being constructive” in response to a grand jury’s decision Wednesday not to indict the officer filmed holding Garner in a chokehold.
Obama said he intends to take more steps on policing with de Blasio and others in the coming months, but that there are also broader concerns about education and social justice that must be examined.
“Beyond the specific issue that has to be addressed — making sure that people have confidence that police and law enforcement, prosecutors — are serving everybody equally, there’s the larger question of restoring common purpose,” he said. “And at the heart of the American ideal is this sense that we’re in it together, that nobody’s guaranteed success but everybody’s got access to the possibilities of success.”