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Obama says more must be done to address US police shootings

(Agencies) Updated: 2016-07-08 09:13

Obama says more must be done to address US police shootings

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on recent police-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota after arriving ahead of a NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland July 8, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

WARSAW, Poland - President Barack Obama on Friday made an impassioned plea for the nation to do more to address the combative relationship between local police forces and the black and Hispanic communities they serve, after the shootings of two black men by police in Minnesota and Louisiana in two days.

"When incidents like this occur, there's a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin they are not being treated the same," Obama said shortly after landing early Friday morning in Warsaw, Poland, for a NATO summit.

"And that should trouble all of us. This is not just a black issue. It's not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about," 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.

Citing statistics that show that blacks are more likely to be killed by police officers and receive harsher sentences than their white counterparts, Obama said it is "incumbent on all of us to say we can do better than this."

A White House task force on better policing tactics issued recommendations last year on how to improve community relations with law enforcement.

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