Obama steps out as nation confronts confluence of crises

Obama commuted 58 convicts
Posted at 8:00 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 21:10:30-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Barack Obama is taking on an increasingly public role as the nation confronts a confluence of historic crises that has exposed deep racial and socioeconomic inequalities in America and reshaped the November election.

On Wednesday, he held a virtual town hall event with young people to discuss policing and the civil unrest that has followed the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

He directly addressed police brutality and those it affects.

"Too often some of that violence has come from folks who were supposed to be serving and protecting you, I want you to know that you matter, I want you to know that your lives matter.Your dreams matter," Obama said.

The former president also said he's encouraged by the diversity of Americans protesting in the streets.

"There is a change in mindset that is taking place, a greater recognition that we can do better," he said.

Obama called for turning the protests over Floyd’s death into policy change and urged specific reforms to ensure safer policing and increased trust between communities and law enforcement.

All of the nation's living former presidents have now weighed in on the death of George Floyd.