President Obama is using his appearance today before the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Chicago to make his case for an overhaul of sentencing laws, saying that putting large numbers of nonviolent drug offenders in prison is neither fair nor an effective way of combating crime, White House officials told the New York Times. Obama is hoping to keep the pressure on Congress to produce legislation that would turn back parts of the tough-on-crime approach of the 1980s and '90s. Obama will announce what officials are calling a guidebook to carrying out the recommendations of his task force on 21st-century policing, which was set up to confront the clashes between black communities and the police after episodes like the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo.
Obama is taking note of the unusually high murder rate in Chicago, his hometown, by also renewing his call for gun control measures, though the President is not expected to announce any new proposals to limit gun purchases. After the deadly shooting at a community college in Oregon this month, Obama promised that officials in his administration would take a new look at what gun control measures were possible without the approval of Congress, which has been gridlocked on the issue. Officials said that review was continuing.