President Barack Obama said Saturday night "we'll do a better job" protecting police officers "if our communities can feel confident that they are being treated fairly."
Obama's remarks on the criminal justice system, specifically the need for a better relationship between police and citizens, drew a loud response at the annual Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner in Washington.
While Obama spent mic time praising the "uncommon bravery" of police, indicating the "vast majority do right thing," he said equal emphasis needs to be placed on ensuring the law is applied fairly.
"This is not a new problem," he said. "It's just that in recent months, in recent years, suddenly folks have videos and body cameras and social media. And so it's opened our eyes to these incidents."
Obama declared that "there is no contradiction between us caring about our law enforcement officers and also making sure that our laws are applied fairly."
"Do not make this as an either-or proposition," he continued. "This is a both-and proposition. We want to protect our police officers — we'll do a better job doing it if our communities can feel confident that they are being treated fairly. Hope I'm making that clear. Hope I'm making that clear."
Obama also said that his praise for police "somehow never shows up on Fox News."
Here's the president's speech. The relevant portion begins just after the 54:45 mark:
This story has been updated with video and an additional remark by Obama.
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