POTUS Speaks On Alton Sterling & Philando Castile Shootings
In the past two days we've lost two black men to police brutality: Alton Sterling from Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Philando Castile from Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
Plenty of activists, artists and celebrities have addressed the tragic shootings, and now President Obama has issued a statement regarding the deaths of Sterling and Castile. The POTUS acknowledges that the incidents are "not isolated," and proceeds to address the problems the shootings are reflective of.
"They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve."
"To admit we've got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day. It is to say that, as a nation, we can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement."
Currently, the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge, while Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement earlier today, that he asked the White House to compel the DOJ to begin an independent federal investigation into the death of Castile.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also spoke out against the shootings, having issued a statement on the death of Sterling and tweeting about Castile's death.
"The death of Alton Sterling is a tragedy, and my prayers are with his family, including his five children. From Staten Island to Baltimore, Ferguson to Baton Rouge, too many African American families mourn the loss of a loved one from a police-involved incident," Clinton offers in the statement. "Something is profoundly wrong when so many Americans have reason to believe that our country doesn’t consider them as precious as others because of the color of their skin."