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Obama: Stricter gun control would reduce police officer deaths

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President Barack Obama will tell police chiefs on Tuesday that stricter gun control would reduce the number of police officers shot down on U.S. streets, in his latest call for reform of laws that govern the use of firearms in America.

Obama is scheduled to speak at a major conference of police chiefs during a turbulent time for the law enforcement community, with a new U.S. Justice Department report expected to be issued at the gathering on ambush attacks on police.

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“It’s time to be honest: fewer gun safety laws don’t mean more freedom, they mean more fallen officers. They mean more grieving families, and more Americans terrified that they or their loved ones could be next,” Obama will say, according to prepared remarks released by the White House.

Obama will say that he refuses to “accept the notion that we couldn’t have prevented some of those murders, and suicides, and kept more families whole,” despite Americans’ differences about the constitutionally protected right of citizens to bear arms.

A spate of high profile deaths of black men at the hands of police in Missouri, New York and elsewhere, coupled with a spiraling number of police deaths, has rocked the law enforcement community and highlighted racial disparities.

A dozen police officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter this year resulting from shootings. That is an unusually high number, up from an average of about five a year from 2005 to 2014, according to academic research.

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At the same time, FBI Director James Comey has said in recent days that fear of being accused of brutal tactics has sent a “chill wind” through law enforcement in the past year, making police less effective at cracking down on violent crime.

Obama will say political candidates, cable news coverage and people using Twitter have unnecessarily played up tensions between police and civilians. “I reject any narrative that seeks to divide police and communities they serve,” he will say.

The president is seeking support in Congress and among police for measures to reduce high U.S. incarceration rates and reform sentencing guidelines for non-violent offenders.

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The Justice Department released a report at the conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police on ambush attacks against police. It said mental illness and extremist ideologies play key roles in attacks, which have been rising since 2005, though there are fewer than in the 1990s.

(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Christian Plumb and Tom Brown)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Here’s why Trump is right — a recession would likely doom his re-election

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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WATCH: Climate activists chant ‘failure of leadership’ at Tom Perez after DNC votes against climate debate

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Activists walked out of the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco after the organization voted against allowing a climate change debate during the 2020 primary.

DNC Chair Tom Perez imposed strict rules on the debates, which prevented a climate change debate from occurring. Climate activists had forced a vote, hoping to overrule the party boss.

"The Democratic Party needs the energy, motivation, and organizing capacity of young people to defeat Trump in 2020. But Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away," the Sunrise Movement said in a statement.

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DNC votes against allowing a climate change debate amongst the 2020 hopefuls

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