President Barack Obama is harnessing the increasing attacks on police — and the periodic shootings of people by stressed cops — to push his agenda to federalize state and local police forces.
“I want to start moving on constructive actions that are actually going to make a difference,” he said during his evening press conference in Poland when he was asked about the Dallas attack.
Those actions, he said, would be based on the recommendations of the panel that he picked after the 2014 street riots in Ferguson, Missouri. The panel offered “practical concrete solutions that can reduce — if not eliminate — the problems of racial bias,” Obama said.
The dramatic shootings are an opportunity to push that agenda, Obama said. “If my voice has been true and positive, my hope would be that… [the panel] surfaces problems, it frames them, it allows us to wrestle with these issue and try to come up with practical solutions,” he said.
Obama began touting the panel’s recommendations in March 2015. The report, titled “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report,” was published in May 2015.
The report urges the federal government to federalize police training and practices, via the use of federal lawsuits, grants and threats to cut federal aid. So far, Obama’s deputies have cajoled and sued more than 30 police jurisdictions to adopt federal rules in a slow-motion creation of a national police system, similar to the slow-motion creation of a federal-run health-sector via Obamacare.
Obama also used the press conference to insulate his federalized police program — and his allies in the Black Live Matter movement — from popular rejection after the five police were murdered by the anti-cop African-American in Dallas.
“The danger is that we somehow think the act of a troubled person speaks to some larger political statement across the country — it doesn’t,” Obama insisted.
Obama shrugged off growing criticism that his own anti-cop statements helped trigger the shootings in Dallas and several other cities on Thursday and Friday. “It is very hard to untangle to motives of this [Dallas] shooter … you have a troubled mind … what feeds it, what sets it off, I’ll leave that to psychologists and people who study these kinds of incidents.”
Throughout his press conference, Obama tried to play the role of national healer. “As painful as this week has been, I firmly believe that America is not as divided as some have suggested. Americans of all races and all backgrounds are rightly outraged by the inexcusable attacks on police … that includes protestors, it includes family members who have grave concerns about police conduct, and they’ve said that this is unacceptable, there is no division there,” he said.