According to President Obama, it is time for America to “do some soul-searching” after seeing the way Black people have been killed by police as well as the response to the violence against people of color.
The president made it clear that Americans will need to address the root causes of violent uprisings.
“This is not new. It’s been going on for decades,” Obama said from the White House.
The violence in Baltimore is the result of Freddie Gray’s death. Gray was killed after suffering a spinal cord injury after being arrested by Baltimore PD.
“We have seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals, primarily African-American, often poor, in ways that raise troubling questions. It comes up, it seems like, once a week now,” Obama said. “We shouldn’t pretend that it’s new.”
Obama did call to task looters that have caused wide-spread property damage, even to police vehicles.
“There’s no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday,” Obama said. “It is counterproductive. When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting, they’re not making a statement, they’re stealing.”
There is a need to address the root of the matters, Obama said.
“I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities,” Obama said.
He noted job training, education, criminal justice reform and other matters that need to be addressed before things change.