In a speech before the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago, President Barack Obama laid out a plan to address the increase in violent crime in select cities, while improving trust between police officers and the communities in which they serve.
As if in response to FBI Director James Comey’s remarks yesterday, in which Comey made a correlation between an increase in violent crime and the viral videos captured of police doing their jobs, President Obama stated unequivocally,
I reject any narrative that seeks to divide police and communities they serve; that frames any discussion of public safety around ‘us’ and ‘them.’
In describing his three-part plan to address violent crime, racial bias, the criminal justice system and gun reform, Obama stressed the importance of:
- Making sure the police had the resources they needed to get the job done
- Reforms to the criminal justice system which would make it smarter and fairer
- Common sense gun safety reforms which would reduce the risks officers face in the field
Quoting Vice President Joe Biden, Obama stated,
Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.
Tying in the recently negotiated new budget deal due to go before Congress mid-week, Obama said that the deal reflects the country’s values. He also took the opportunity to say that public safety programs would be funded, in part, by the deal which included provisions for hedge fund managers and private equity firms to finally pay their fair share of taxes.
Obama went on to state that the unfair application of the criminal justice system to minorities was a fact, but that he refused to let law enforcement be “scapegoated for the broader failures of our society and our criminal justice system.”
Lest the gun lobby run amok screaming, “Obama wants to take away our guns!” the President reiterated that he was not against the 2nd Amendment, and had no intention of going after responsible gun owners. But in a country where more than 400,000 people have been killed by gun violence since 9/11, common sense reforms have to be implemented to take guns out of the hands of criminals.
Let’s watch the President’s insightful remarks and make up our own minds, shall we?
Featured image courtesy of abc7chicago.com.