President Barack Obama posted a heartfelt response on Facebook to the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota on Thursday.
Obama said that while he couldn’t comment on any of the specific details of the cases, he said that he was “deeply troubled” by both of them.
“What’s clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents,” Obama wrote. “They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.”
Obama went on to say that we need to admit we have a “serious problem,” although he added that this “in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day.”
Obama ended his message with a plea for unity and asked Americans to recognize the problem we have with law enforcement shootings while at the same time working toward constructive solutions.
“Rather than fall into a predictable pattern of division and political posturing, let’s reflect on what we can do better,” he wrote. “Let’s come together as a nation, and keep faith with one another, in order to ensure a future where all of our children know that their lives matter.”