Originally published at the Washington Examiner.
President Obama in an interview airing Monday evening said that much of the public backlash to police-involved killings in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City is driven by the belief that minorities have “less margin for error” with law enforcement officials.
“Part of what I think is so heartbreaking and frustrating for a lot of folks when they watch this is the recognition that simply by virtue of color, you’ve got less margin for error,” Obama said in an interview with BET. “That’s particularly true for black boys.”
Obama has been on the defensive in the wake of grand juries deciding not to indict white police officers in killings of black men in Ferguson and Staten Island, with some accusing the nation’s first black president of being too passive.
He insisted in the interview that his administration was doing everything within its power to address the concerns of predominantly minority communities.
“Sometimes people’s concerns are not based on fact,” Obama said. “If you look at what happened after Michael Brown, what happened after Trayvon [Martin], if you look at the decision after Eric Garner, I’m being pretty explicit about my concern … the fact that this is a systematic problem, that black folks and Latinos and others are just not making this up.”
The president added that some people are frustrated because he hasn’t said, “This is what the outcome should have been.”
“That I cannot do institutionally,” Obama explained. “I’m not putting my thumb on the scale of justice. It could compromise investigations.”
Since the lack of indictments in Missouri and New York, protests have continued across major cities nationwide.
The president commended peaceful protests, saying that a “country’s conscience sometimes has to be triggered by some inconvenience.”
Read more at the Washington Examiner.
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