President Calls Police
Shooting Nation’s Issue
Confront Racial Biases in Law Enforcement System
ST. PAUL—President Barack Obama, reacting with the same horror as many Americans to a grisly video of a bloody, dying man in Minnesota who was shot by the police, begged the nation to confront the racial disparities in law enforcement while acknowledging the dangers that officers face.
“When incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our citizenry that feels as if, because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same, and that hurts, and that should trouble all of us,” Mr. Obama said in an emotional statement on Thursday after arriving in Warsaw for a NATO summit. “This is not just a Black issue, not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we all should care about.”
A few hours earlier, Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota, seemed shaken by the video showing the man, Philando Castile, as he died, also pointed to the role of race. “Would this have happened if the driver were white. If the passengers were white?” he asked. “I don’t think it would have.”
The statements capped a long, emotional day that started with widespread replays of the extraordinary video of Mr. Castile’s final moments and the aftermath of the shooting, which his girlfriend had narrated as they occurred live on Facebook. There were demonstrations and a vigil for Mr. Castile, with appearances by members of his family, in St. Paul. But the shooting reverberated far beyond the state, as it revived tensions over the treatment of Black people by the police. On Thursday night, groups stating “Black Lives Matter” were demonstrating in New York, Los Angeles, Newark and Chicago.
Mr. Dayton and members of the state’s congressional delegation asked for the Justice Department to investigate the death of Mr. Castile, 32, who died hours after the
To Read More...subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper