SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- President Barack Obama said the US should not have a “militarized culture” within its police departments amid violent protests after the acquittal of an officer who killed black teenager Michael Brown.
“We are going to make sure that we are not building a militarized culture inside our local law enforcement,” Obama told his cabinet, civil rights leaders and law enforcement officials at the White House on Monday.
His remarks came after the United Nations on Friday harshly criticized Washington for torturing detainees in prisons, the militarization of police and “numerous reports” of police brutality against minorities.
A report by the UN Committee against Torture concluded that the US has failed to comply with international anti-torture treaties, citing police shootings of unarmed black youth, military interrogations, maximum security prisons and extensive use of solitary confinement among areas of concern.
The president also said on Monday that he was struck by stories of discrimination coming from people who attended the meeting on Monday.
“When I hear the young people around this table talk about their experiences it violates my belief in what America can be; to hear young people feeling marginalized and distrustful even after they’ve done everything right.”
He said that “when any part of the American family does not feel like it is being treated fairly,” it is a problem for the entire country, which shows the US is “not as strong as a country as we can be”.
However, Obama said that he would propose a $260 million budget for US police forces, noting the additional money would be used for 50,000 body cameras to wear to record interactions with civilians and for further training of police.