US President Barack Obama said he believes deep racism unearthed in Ferguson, Missouri’s police department is not common but could exist elsewhere in the country.
“I don’t think that is typical of what happens across the country, but it’s not an isolated incident,” Obama told Sirius XM radio in an interview broadcast Friday.
Obama was speaking after the Justice Department uncovered a cache of racist emails and evidence of multiple rights violations in the jurisdiction where police shot dead an unarmed black teenager August 9, 2014, sparking civil unrest and a national outcry.
“There are circumstances in which trust between communities and law enforcement have broken down,” Obama said.
“Individuals or entire departments may not have the training or the accountability to make sure that they are protecting and serving all people and not just some.”
Despite what Attorney General Eric Holder called a “searing report” into Ferguson’s police department, the government will not prosecute the white policeman responsible for killing teenager Michael Brown.
Brown’s family are planning to sue in a civil case.
The death prompted weeks of sometimes violent protests, and ignited a national debate about race relations and law enforcement.
Obama convened a task force which issued almost 60 recommendations to police that are designed to rebuild trust.
The measures include introducing external investigations “in cases of police use of force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings resulting in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.”