Police officials’ “blunt discussions” with Obama led him to change tone


Law enforcement officers watch on during a protest on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri on August 18, 2014. Police fired tear gas in another night of unrest in a Missouri town where a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, just hours after President Barack Obama called for calm. AFP PHOTO / Michael B. Thomas (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

Law enforcement officials’ “blunt discussions” with President Obama following the 2014 police shooting of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Mo., led to the former president’s change in tone when he spoke about police issues, CBS News Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.

Police officials were “talking about some of his speeches, how police didn’t feel like he was supporting them based on what he would say in some of his speeches,” Pegues said on this week’s “The Takeout” podcast, in reference to Obama’s remarks following the Ferguson shooting and the 2012 Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Fla.

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From left, CBS News’ Jeff Pegues, Major Garrett and Steve Chaggaris discussing Pegues’ new book, “Black and Blue: Inside the Divide Between the Police and Black America,” on “The Takeout” podcast for May 5, 2017

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“There were several meetings in the White House, certainly post-Ferguson, between President Obama and police officials. There were blunt discussions,” said Pegues, the author of the new book, “Black and Blue: Inside the Divide Between the Police and Black America.”

The police officials told Mr. Obama, “Hey, we feel like you don’t have our back. And he was surprised by that.”

And, Pegues said, those meetings had an effect on how the former president discussed law enforcement-related issues, especially following the killing of five Dallas police officers by a gunman in 2016.

“There was this transformation…like he came to understand what they were talking about, and you could see it in some of the speeches that the tone of the speeches changed,” Pegues said.

For more from Pegues’s conversation with CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett and CBS News Political Director Steve Chaggaris, listen to “The Takeout” podcast, available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and CBSNews.com. And follow “The Takeout” on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @TakeoutPodcast.

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Source: CBS News – Politics



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