Obama’s Delicate Balance on Issue of Race and Policing

Obama’s Delicate Balance on Issue of Race and Policing

The New York Times

Mark Landler, White House Correspondent

Michael D. Shear, White House Correspondent

WARSAW — As Air Force One headed for Europe on Thursday afternoon, President Obama holed up in the plane’s office editing a Facebook post meant to express his anguish at two deadly shootings by police officers. Given what had happened, he told his aides, he didn’t think it was enough.

Wrestling with what the appropriate thing to do instead was the start of a wrenching 10 hours in which Mr. Obama would find himself whipsawed by grim events back home, forcing him to once again search for the right tone in a moment of national shock and mourning.

In that time, Mr. Obama delivered a trans-Atlantic call for racial justice after the gruesome deaths of two black men at the hands of the police, only to face the same television cameras hours later to denounce the killings of five officers by a black sniper.

For Mr. Obama, the killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul and the bloody reprisal in Dallas encapsulated the challenge he has faced throughout his presidency: how to confront a justice system that he views as tilted against the very people whom he, as the nation’s first black president, seemed singularly equipped to help…

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