At town hall, Obama confronts race issues bigger than police

How much of a problem exists in police departments over race and how much such may be exaggerated for political purposes is a matter of debate. Everything you say matters.

"Mr. President, I know you have" expressed support for police, Patrick said.

The focus comes a few days after a black Army veteran killed five police officers in revenge for police shooting black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the Minneapolis suburbs.

He then asked the president to put on the blue lights at the White House to honor their sacrifice, citing that police have asked him to do that since he has done it for other groups. "But do they really in their heart feel like you're doing everything you can to protect their lives?" he asked Obama.

"What I have said is that the data... there are discrepancies, those aren't good for making people feel like they are treated fairly and that's not good for police either", Obama said in response.

Adding, "I have also insisted throughout all these processes that law enforcement is deserving of due process just like everybody else. I'll be happy to send it to you, in case you missed it", he said.

The president said he has been consistent in calling for fair treatment, but that "in the aggregate" there are clear racial disparities in the justice system.

Obama told Patrick he has been "unequivocal" in his support for police. Patrick and his wife made the first contribution: $5,000. He later said he "maybe" chose the wrong words.

U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday, July 22, at the White House, the White House said. Some of those attending hailed from communities that have experienced violence in the past couple of weeks, including Pastor Frederick Haynes of South Dallas's Friendship-West Baptist Church and Mayor Chris Coleman of St. Paul.

"And I've seen how a spirit of unity, born of tragedy, can gradually dissipate, overtaken by the return to business as usual, by inertia and old habits and expediency", he said.

On Facebook, Obama asked Americans from all walks of life to share their own ideas for healing racial wounds and keeping people safe: "Going forward, I want to hear ideas from even more Americans about how we can address these challenges together as one nation".

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