Obama says attacking police hurts reform

2016-07-10 21:11
US President Barack Obama greets troops during a visit to Naval Station Rota in Cadiz, Spain. (Susan Walsh, AP)

US President Barack Obama greets troops during a visit to Naval Station Rota in Cadiz, Spain. (Susan Walsh, AP)

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Madrid - US President Barack Obama cautioned those protesting police killings of black Americans against blanket criticism on Sunday, saying the majority of officers in the force do a good job.

"Whenever those of us who are concerned about fairness in the criminal justice system attack police officers, you are doing a disservice to the cause," Obama said, as protests against police brutality continued around the country.

America has been rocked by the deaths of a series of black men at the hands of white officers - with many of the events captured on camera.

The sense of crisis deepened last week when a black man shot dead five white cops in Dallas, shocking the nation and the world.

Obama, speaking in Madrid, said any violence against police was "a reprehensible crime and needs to be prosecuted".

But, he added, "even rhetorically, if we paint police in broad brush without recognising that the vast majority of police officers are doing a really good job and are trying to protect people and do so fairly and without racial bias, if the rhetoric does not recognise that, then we're going to lose allies in the reform cause."

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