By Randy Foreman, White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON – (Newsblaze) President Barack Obama in a Tuesday noontime Rose Garden Press Conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed the ongoing riots after the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore by saying that some of the rioters were “a handful of people taking advantage of a situation for their own purposes, and they need to be treated as criminals” and by making a push for local law enforcement agencies to “collaboratively” retrain.
Mr. Obama’s remarks came from a query from NBC’s White House correspondent Chris Jansing who cited the NAACP legal defense fund head who said said “We are in the throes of a national crisis.”
“Are we in the throes of a national crisis? What are you prepared to do about it, both in terms of Baltimore and the larger picture? And what do you say to critics who say that since the death of Trayvon Martin, you have not been aggressive enough in your response?” Jansing asked.
In a “long” six point answer the President said first his thoughts were with the family of Freddie Gray, second thoughts with the injured police officers, third that there was “no excuse” for the violence, fourth the violence distracted from “multiple days of peaceful protests” fifthly that there was a “slow rolling crisis” of law enforcement officers dealing with African Americans in “troubling ways” and six that the President stated “I think we, as a country, have to do some soul searching.”
However, many observers in recent days note that media hype and political activity on the part of The White House are moving towards as the widely read Drudge Report on Tuesday last week headlined “The Dawn of a National Police Force.” The website linked to a New York Daily news story which noted that the Federal Government was issuing a ten point set of requirements for police training such as “Do not engage in racial profiling” and “Do not tell or tolerate racial, sexist or ethnic jokes.”
The President addressed the issue in his statement by saying “Now, the challenge for us as the federal government is that we don’t run these police forces. I can’t federalize every police force in the country and force them to retrain. But what I can do is to start working with them collaboratively so that they can begin this process of change themselves.”
That push involves, according to the President, a Department of Justice Effort for local law enforcement agencies to purchase Body cameras and issuing grants for new training and data collection.
However, critics such as the widely listened-to Rush Limbaugh were stating on Tuesday that the President got nowhere near the proximate cause of the riots. Limbaugh took the microphone of his show to say “Man-made liberalism. Political climate change is destroying America’s urban core. Not rising sea levels, not melting glaciers, not hurricanes, none of these things that we’ve been told are gonna be the end of us. Nope, it’s man-made liberalism that is destroying America’s urban core. Rapid expansion of government at the expense of free markets, private property rights, school choice, intact families, controlled immigration, all that’s gone.”