President Obama to Discuss Police Militarization, Distrust with Civil Rights Activists

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have called some of the nation’s top civil rights leaders to the Oval Office to discuss next steps in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision, reports MSNBC. The series of meetings, which are to take place Monday afternoon, will address police distrust as well as excessive police force.

“As the country has witnessed, disintegration of trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve can destabilize communities, undermine the legitimacy of the criminal justice system, undermine public safety, create resentment in local communities, and make the job of delivering police services less safe and more difficult,” said a White House official.

Members of the Ferguson Commission, a group created by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, will be present for the first meeting, along with Laura Murphy, ACLU’s legislative director, and other young civil rights leaders. 

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President Obama will then expand his reach and meet with religious community leaders and law enforcement officials, including Rev. Al Sharpton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The meetings could be the first step in limiting the militarization of the police.

“In August, President Obama ordered a review of federal funding and programs that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies,” a White House official said yesterday. “Tomorrow afternoon, President Obama will meet with members of his Cabinet to further discuss these issues and actions the Administration is taking.”