Obama addresses Floyd protests for first time publicly in online town hall

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(CNN) – Former President Barack Obama addressed the recent protests against police violence on camera Wednesday.

The former president participated in the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Town Hall Series. He was joined by police reform activists and public figures, including former Attorney General Eric Holder.

This was Obama’s first on-camera comments since the death of George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests.

He acknowledged the challenges and structural problems the black community has dealt with over centuries, which once again came to the forefront after Floyd’s death.

“The outcomes of not just the immediate moments in time, but they are the results of a long history of slavery, and Jim Crow, and Red Lining, and institutional racism that too often have been the plague, the original sin of society,” Obama said Wednesday.

President Obama is urging every mayor in the country to review their city’s force-of-use policies with members of their communities and commit to planned reforms.

He also said the events of the last few weeks have become an incredible opportunity for people to be “awakened” to what been going on.

The town hall streamed live on Obama.org at 5 p.m. ET.

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