President Barack Obama said Wednesday that there’s a very visible sense among Americans that the police and justice systems aren’t treating everyone fairly. Those comments came in response to the news that no charges would be brought against the New York Police Department officer in the choke-holding case that resulted in the death of Eric Garner.
Obama, speaking at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference, said that he had just spoken with Attorney General Eric Holder who would have more specific comments about the case. He also referenced protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer, a case which also didn’t result in an indictment.
“But I want everybody to know here as well as everybody who may be viewing my remarks here today, we are not going to let up until we see a strengthening of the trust and a strengthening of the accountability that exists between our communities and our law enforcement,” Obama said. “I say that as someone who believes law enforcement has an incredibly difficult job.”
Obama continued that “right now unfortunately we are seeing too many instances where people just do not have confidence that folks are being treated fairly.”
“In some cases those may be misconceptions but in some cases that’s a reality,” Obama said. “And it is incumbent upon all of us as Americans, regardless of race, region, faith, that we recognize this is an American problem and not just a black problem or a brown problem or a native American problem, this is an American problem, when anybody in this country is not being treated under the law that’s a problem and it’s my job as president to help solve it.”