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Obama’s Answer To A Chicagoan’s Question On Stopping Violent Crime Includes Going After the Police

Obama’s Answer to a Chicagoan’s Question on Stopping Violent Crime Includes Going After the Police

President Barack Obama was surprised that one of the questioners in the audience at a town hall forum in Kingston, Jamaica was a native of his hometown of Chicago.

The woman, who is studying abroad, said, “I love my city but the violence is terrible, particularly among young black men.”

She added, “I know we are talking an awful lot about police brutality. But I’ve lost a lot of friends from people who look just like me. So that’s the problem and I would like to know what you believe is the true source of the violence and what is one solution to an extreme problem.”

Obama explained there was no one solution, but said it was four steps: fighting the drug trade, gun control, better education and communities stepping up. And he tied communities stepping up with recent events of police shootings.

“Government has to act. We have to have effective policing, which means policing that is actually protecting, as opposed to some of the things we’ve been seeing of late in the United States and I’m sure is true of other countries,” Obama said days after a South Carolina police officer was charged with murder for shooting death of an unarmed black man.

President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting with young leaders at the University of the West Indies on April 9, 2015 in Kingston. AFP PHOTO/ MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Last year, there were two major incidents, one in Ferguson, Missouri, another in New York, where police confrontations led to the deaths of black men.

“Police have an extraordinary difficult job,” Obama continued. “The overwhelming majority do a great job under severe circumstances. But there has got to be trust built between the communities. I had to put a task force together that put together excellent reports in the wake of Ferguson as to how we can do that.”

Obama identified the “illicit drug trade,” as the top cause of violence, which he said creates a market for other crimes. Though earlier in the town hall forum, he said the war on drugs has been counterproductive, mostly criticizing over incarceration.

He named guns as a second problem, and referenced the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. More

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