Former president Barack Obama hosted a virtual town hall to discuss the death of George Floyd and encourage Americans to make a “real change” following a wave of protests that has swept the nation in response.
The event took place on Wednesday, June 3 at 5 p.m. ET on his website.
The event, dubbed “Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence,” was hosted by My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a program established by the Obama Foundation, reports CBS.
The event can be viewed here at the player below.
Obama first weighed in on George Floyd’s death on May 29, saying it left him “in anguish” in a post shared to social media.
“This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America,” Obama said in the caption. “It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”
He also said: “It’s natural to wish for life ‘to just get back to normal’ as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’ – whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.”
On Monday, he published an essay on Medium, asserting that heavier burdens should be placed on local and state governments, as they are where policies are actually instituted and practiced.
“Tailoring reforms for each community will require local activists and organizations to do their research and educate fellow citizens in their community on what strategies work best,” Obama said. While he said people should still seek to elect the right people in federal government, direct impact is often closely tied to the results of local elections.