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  • The President: Some of you may have heard

  • there was a decision that came out today

  • by a grand jury not to indict police officers

  • who had interacted with an individual named Eric Garner

  • in New York City.

  • All of which was caught on videotape

  • and speaks to the larger issues that we've been talking about

  • now for the last week, the last month, the last year,

  • and sadly for decades.

  • And that is the concern on the part of too many

  • minority communities that law enforcement is not working

  • with them and dealing with them in a fair way.

  • And there's going to be -- I'm sure additional

  • statements by law enforcement.

  • My tradition is not to remark on cases where there may be

  • still be an investigation.

  • But I want everybody to understand that this week

  • in the wake of Ferguson, we initiated a task force

  • whose job it is to come back to me with specific recommendations

  • about how we strengthen the relationship between

  • law enforcement and communities of color,

  • and minority communities that feel that bias is taking place.

  • That we are going to take specific steps to improve

  • the training and the work with state and local governments

  • when it comes to policing in communities of color.

  • That we are going to be scrupulous in investigating

  • cases where we are concerned about the impartiality

  • and accountability that's taking place.

  • And as I said when I met with folks both from Ferguson,

  • and law enforcement, and clergy, and civil rights activists;

  • I said this is an issue we've been dealing with for too long

  • and it's time for us to make more progress than we've made.

  • And I'm not interested in talk.

  • I'm interested in action.

  • And I am absolutely committed as President of the United States

  • to making sure that we have a country in which

  • everybody believes in the core principle

  • that we're equal under the law.

  • (applause)

  • So, I just got off the phone with my

  • Attorney General Eric Holder.

  • He will have more specific comments about the

  • case in New York.

  • But I want everybody to know here as well as everybody

  • who may be viewing my remarks here today

  • -- we are not going to let up until we see a strengthening

  • of the trust and a strengthening of the accountability

  • that exists between our communities

  • and our law enforcement.

  • And I say that as somebody who believes that law enforcement

  • has an incredibly difficult job.

  • That every man or women in uniform are putting their lives

  • at risk to protect us.

  • That they have the right to come home just like we do

  • from our jobs.

  • That there's real crime out there that they've

  • got to tackle day in, day out.

  • But that they're only going to be able to do their job

  • effectively if everybody has confidence in the system.

  • And right now unfortunately we are seeing too many instances

  • where people just do not have confidence

  • that folks are being treated fairly.

  • And in some cases those may be misperceptions but in some cases

  • that's a reality.

  • And it is incumbent about all of us as American's,

  • regardless of race, region, faith; that we recognize

  • this is an American problem not just a black problem

  • or a brown problem or a Native American problem

  • this is an American problem.

  • When anybody in this country is not being treated equally

  • under the law, that's a problem.

  • And it's my job as President

  • to help solve it.

  • (applause)

The President: Some of you may have heard

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President Obama Speaks on the Eric Garner Decision

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    Halu Hsieh posted on 2014/12/26
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