At the conclusion of a White House forum on criminal justice, President Barack Obama said Thursday he wanted to make a final point about the nexus of race and the criminal justice system before launching into his defense of the movement.
"I think everybody understands all lives matter," Obama said. "I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase 'Black Lives Matter' was not because they were suggesting nobody else's lives matter. Rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that's happening in the African-American community that's not happening in other communities."
Obama paired his defense of the Black Lives Matter movement with praise for police and other law enforcement officials. Some police groups have been unhappy with the president's response to the deaths of unarmed black suspects. The president lately seems to be making the extra effort to publicly praise police officers for willingly taking on a dangerous assignment, CBS News reports.
He did so while participating in a forum on drug abuse Wednesday in Charleston, West Virginia, and next week he's scheduled to address the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago.