President Obama reportedly told police behind closed doors that he was the key to healing racial divisions between law enforcement and black communities.
Mr. Obama met for two hours Monday with law enforcement officials from eight separate groups. The Fraternal Order of Police’s James O. Pasco, who was in attendance, said the president views himself as the vehicle for calm in the wake of racially charged shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas.
“I’m your best hope,” the president informed the groups, Mr. Pasco told The Washington Post.
“I don’t disagree. We’re all in this together,” Mr. Pasco added.
Mr. Obama is traveling to Dallas Tuesday to give a speech at the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center. The president will honor the five officers who were shot and killed by 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson on July 7. Former President George W. Bush is also scheduled to give remarks at the service.
Johnson’s rampage came just days after Alton Sterling, 37, was shot and killed Tuesday in Baton Rouge as police responded to a call about an armed man, and Philando Castile, 32, was killed in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, during a traffic stop.
Brittany Packnett, a Black Lives Matter activist and member of the president’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, told the newspaper that Mr. Obama’s remarks in Dallas should address how to create a society that “replaces order with justice so that violence is not the place where people feel they have to turn.”