Obama Seeks “Specific Steps” To Improve Police-Minority Relations


While black leaders questioned the fairness of the grand jury proceedings in the Ferguson killing of Michael Brown, President Obama demanded the prosecution of looters who trashed the city and set the stage for a national debate on criminal justice reform and even possible race-based hiring changes at police departments, the Washington Times reports. Obama said yesterday he wanted to use the Ferguson tragedy to force communities to take “specific steps” to improve relations between their police departments and minority communities that often believe “our laws are not being fairly enforced.”

The president ticked off several solutions, such as better police training, and suggested police departments needed to become more racially diverse like their communities, hinting at the possibility of hiring quotas. “We know that a police force that is representative of the communities it is serving makes a difference,” Obama said, urging a national dialogue on healing minority communities' biggest frustrations with law enforcement. “The frustration the people have generally … are rooted in some hard truths that have to be addressed,” he told a gathering in his hometown of Chicago. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department’s civil rights investigations in Ferguson will “continue to be thorough, they will continue to be independent, and they remain ongoing.”

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