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Obama: US must improve probe of police killings

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US President Barack Obama has called for additional measures to build trust that proper investigations are launched into the police killings of African Americans and Hispanics.

Obama made the remarks on Wednesday following a three-hour meeting with community activists, politicians and law enforcement officials in Washington, DC.

“We’re going to have to do more work together in thinking about how we can build confidence that after police officers have used force, particularly deadly force, that there is confidence in how the investigation takes place and that justice is done,” Obama said.

He also admitted that the US is far from where it needs to be in terms of resolving issues between police and the communities they serve.

“What’s been apparent is that it’s not enough just for us to have a task force, a report and then follow up through our departments,” he said.

The president offered a series of steps that could help to improve relations between police and black communities, including updating police training practices and improving data collection.

The meeting comes in the wake of the fatal police shootings of 2 black men in the states of Louisiana and Minnesota and the subsequent killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas.

Police officers launch smoke bombs and tear gas to clear out anti-police brutality protesters who shut down highway I-94 on July 9, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (AFP photo)

The killings renewed racial tensions that have flared repeatedly across the US since the 2014 police killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Missouri.

Police in the United States killed over 1,150 people in 2015, with the largest police departments disproportionately killing at least 321 African Americans, according to data compiled by an activist group that runs the Mapping Police Violence project.

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