In a panel discussion with police leaders held on Thursday afternoon, President Barack Obama implored the law enforcement community to take the Black Lives Matter movement seriously.
"There is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that is not happening in other communities, and that is a legitimate issue that we've got to address," the president said.
Obama continued, "The African-American community is not just making this up. It's not something that's just being politicized. It's real. We as a society, particularly given our history. have to take this seriously."
While the president defended Black Lives Matter he also stated that the issues being discussed don't begin and end with law enforcement. "We can't put the entire onus of the problem on law enforcement," the president said.
The president's remarks coincided with renewed anti-police protests in New York City; protests that come just two days after the murder of NYPD Officer Randolph Holder.