Dear Commons Community,
President Barack Obama addressed the outrage surrounding the fatal shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by police officers this week, calling the racial disparity in police killings an “American issue” that should concern all U.S. citizens.
“All of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings,” the president said in a speech that he delivered in the middle of the night from Warsaw, Poland, where he is attending a NATO summit. “These are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.”
Sterling was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday after a 911 caller reported seeing a man with a gun. A day later, Castile was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer during a routine traffic stop. Both shootings were captured on video, immediately sparking outrage online.
Last night, there were protests and vigils all over the country by people of every race and ethnicity seeming to support President Obama’s plea. However, at a protest in Dallas, snipers targeted and killed five police officers assigned to maintain the peace.
Something is terribly wrong in a society when the killing of innocents is so rampant. An American issue indeed!