In response to the Department of Justice report summarizing the investigation into the Ferguson Police Department, President Barack Obama said the type of racial bias cited in the analysis was “not an isolated incident.”
Speaking on Sirius XM’s "The Joe Madison Radio Show," Obama said the struggle for civil rights is “unfinished,” and that improving relations between police and minority communities “requires collective action and mobilization.”
“I don’t think that is typical of what happens across the country, but it’s not an isolated incident,” Obama said. “I think that there are circumstances in which trust between communities and law enforcement have broken down, and individuals or entire departments may not have the training or the accountability to make sure that they’re protecting and serving all people and not just some.”
The DOJ’s report documented numerous instances of racial bias displayed by Ferguson police officers and local officials, including emails that used racial slurs and even made jokes directed towards the president — one depicting him as a chimpanzee. The investigation also shed light on instances of excessive use of force, and unreasonable searches and seizures.
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Despite the incidents detailed in the report, the DOJ concluded in a parallel interview that there was not enough evidence to charge former Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Obama’s radio interview was meant to preview his trip this weekend to Selma, Alabama where he will speak from the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where white police officers beat civil rights protesters in 1965.
In a separate radio interview, Obama reiterated that the civil rights struggle is “an unfinished project.”
“There is work to be done right now,” he said.