Former President Barack Obama called on mayors to push for police reform policies during a town hall event on Wednesday addressing the death of George Floyd.
After saying that “there wasn’t enough follow through” regarding the reforms included in a report produced by his administration’s Task Force On 21st Century Policing, despite support from mayors and local elected officials, Obama urged every mayor nationwide to review use of force policies with community members and “commit to report on planned reforms.”
“What are the specific steps you can take?” Obama asked, before adding that his task force created in 2014 by executive order collected data on “what works” and “what doesn’t” when it comes to reducing incidents of police misconduct and violence.
Obama then argued that most of the reforms need to take place at the local level.
“Let’s go ahead and start implementing those,” Obama said. “So we need mayors, county executives, other who are in positions of power to say this is a priority.”
Although he didn’t directly address President Trump’s remarks in the wake of Floyd’s death — which include his demand for governors to “dominate” protesters by activating the National Guard — Obama’s latest comments starkly contrasted Trump’s by arguing that the current crisis offered a chance for a political “awakening.”
Watch Obama’s remarks below:
Former President Barack Obama: "I am urging every mayor in this country to review your use of force policies with members of your community and commit to report on planned reforms." pic.twitter.com/G4JNmYiu9W
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) June 3, 2020
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