Monday at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden, NJ, President Barack Obama commented on community policing and said we as a society must deal honestly with issues of race.
“One of the things I also want to focus on is the fact that a lot of the issues that have been raised here and in places like Baltimore and Ferguson and New York goes beyond policing,” Obama said. “We can’t ask the police to contain and control problems that the rest of us aren’t willing to face or do anything about. If we as a society don’t do more to expand opportunity to everybody who is willing to work for it, then we’ll end up seeing conflicts between law enforcement and residents.”
“If we as a society aren’t willing to deal honestly with issues of race, then we can’t just expect police departments to solve these problems,” he continued. “If communities are being isolated and segregated without opportunity and without investment and without jobs—if we, politicians, are simply ramping up long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes that end up devastating communities, we can’t then ask the police to be the ones to solve the problem when there are no able bodied men in the community.”
“Our kids are growing up without intact households,” Obama added. “We can’t just focus on the problems when there’s a disturbance and then cable TV runs it for two or three or four days, and then suddenly, we forget about it again, until the next time.”
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