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Obama: Police Need to Work on Building Trust

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/ Source: NBC News

President Barack Obama stressed in a radio interview that aired on Wednesday that the Baltimore riots highlight the need to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the minority communities they serve.

"Unfortunately we've seen these police-related killings or deaths too often now," Obama said in an interview with “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” taped on Tuesday and broadcast on black radio stations across the country on Wednesday. "And obviously everybody is starting to recognize that this is not just an isolated incident in Ferguson or New York, but we've got some broader issues."

"I've seen this movie too many times before," the president added.

It was the same message of soul searching the president touched on Tuesday when asked about the Baltimore riots during a joint news conference with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"If we really want to solve the problem, we could. It would require everybody to say this is important, this is significant and that we just don't pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns, when a young man is shot or when his spine is snapped," Obama said on Tuesday.

Obama went further on Wednesday during the radio interview and said that law enforcement needs to do more in terms of transparency and accountability.

"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.

The president said that newly-minted Attorney General Loretta Lynch will continue letting local lawmakers know what resources are available to help improve transparency within police forces.

However, addressing the broader issues is everyone’s responsibility, he said.

"This is not just a job for the Justice Department, it's a job for all of us as a society," the president said.

—Halimah Abdullah and The Associated Press