Obama: Attacks on police ‘disservice to the cause’ of criminal justice reform

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President Barack Obama, while in Spain Sunday, condemned citizens who attack police officers, saying they are performing a “disservice to the cause” of criminal justice reform.

Obama made the remarks following a bilateral meeting with Spanish Interim Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, in reference to the turmoil back in the United States following the killings of five Dallas police officers.

“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 at the Moncola Palace in Madrid.

Obama said that police and activists need to work together and “listen to each other” in order to mobilize real change in America.

The President added that in movements such as Black Lives Matter, there will always be people who make “stupid” or “over generalized” statements, but that a truthful and peaceful tone must be created on both sides for progress.

Obama cut his trip to Spain short by a day to visit Dallas sometime early this week.

“I wish I was staying longer,” Obama said earlier Sunday prior to a meeting with King Felipe VI. ” I’m so grateful for the understanding not only of his majesty but the people of Spain. We’ve had a difficult week back in the United States so my trip is a little abbreviated.”

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