President Barack Obama said the Baltimore riots show that police departments need to hold officers accountable for wrongdoing “instead of just the closing-ranks approach that all too often we see.”
In an interview broadcast Wednesday morning on “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” Obama said his heart goes out of the Baltimore officers who were injured by rioters. He said there’s no excuse for that kind of violence and Baltimore police showed “appropriate restraint.”
But he said police departments have to build more trust in minority communities by building accountability and transparency.
“It’s in their interest to root out folks who aren’t doing the right thing, to hold accountable people when they do something wrong, instead of just the closing-ranks approach that all too often we see that ends up just feeding greater frustration and ultimately, I think, putting more police officers in danger,” Obama said in the interview taped Tuesday and broadcast on black radio stations nationwide.
Obama said Attorney General Loretta Lynch is reaching out to mayors to let them know what resources are available for retraining police and providing body cameras to hold them accountable. But he said solving the problems is going to require a broader political movement that addresses problems like poor education, drugs, absent fathers and limited job opportunities.