WASHINGTON President Barack Obama said on Thursday the fatal shootings of black men by police in Minnesota and Louisiana in two days underscored the need for the nation to address "the appearance or reality of racial bias" in policing.
"These fatal shootings are not isolated incidents," Obama said in a posting on Facebook. "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."
"We can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement," he said.
The deaths of Philando Castile at a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were the latest in a string of shootings that have led to calls for a revamp in the way police interact with the black community.
"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," Obama said.
"All Americans should recognise the anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling ... Michelle and I share those feelings," he added.
(Reporting by Adam DeRose; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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