'Sometimes you've got a police department that has gotten into bad habits over a period of time and hasn’t maybe surfaced some hidden biases that we all carry around,' he admitted. 'But if you offer practical solutions, I think people want to fix these problems.'

Obama revealed to Crowley, 'I assume the best rather than the worst in others.

'But it also makes me mindful of the fact that there's misunderstanding, there's mistrust and there are biases both overt and sometimes hidden that operate in ways that disadvantage minority communities,' he said. 

'And that's a carryover. There's a long legacy in this country that has gotten enormously better, but is still there. And when you look at what's happened in law enforcement across the country over the last several years...that's not news to African-Americans. 

The difference, Obama said, repeating past statements, is that now such incidents are captured on video, allowing all Americans to witness injustices being carried out against their countrymen.

Obama told a room full of reporters on Friday that deaths at the hands of police of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City sparked a 'healthy conversation' in America that will allow the country to 'come together and to take a practical approach' to solving race relations issues.

'This isn’t a situation where people feel good seeing somebody choked and dying,' the president said at his press conference. 'I think that troubles everybody.'

Obama told Crowley that the national response to the deaths has given him 'confidence that by surfacing these issues, we're going to be able to make progress on them.'

Addressing his critics in the African-American community, who say that he isn't as supportive of the restoration of justice for blacks as he should be and that he's been too 'patient,' Obama said 'there's no reason for folks to be patient. 

'I'm impatient,' he said before pointing out that he ordered the creation of federal task forces to review the killings in Ferguson and New York and provide recommendations for changes in the way law enforcement operate within 90 days. 

'On the other hand, I think an unwillingness to acknowledge that progress has been made cuts off the possibility of further progress,' he added.

And 'if critics want to suggest that America is inherently and irreducibly racist, then why bother even working on it?' he continued.

'I've seen change in my own life. So has this country. And those who would deny that, I think, actually foreclose the possibility of further progress rather than advancing it,' he concluded.


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