President Barack Obama on Wednesday blamed the response to Freddie Gray's death on years of disinvestment in city neighborhoods and argued the public must continue to focus on economic development after the immediate crisis subsides.
"There's been no effort to reinvest and rebuild in these communities," Obama said on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, broadcast on WHUR in Washington, D.C.
"If you send police officers into those situations, where the drug trade is the primary economy...and you say that your job basically is to contain that…then it's not surprising that you end up with a situation of enormous tension," he said.
Echoing the themes he raised at a press conference yesterday, the president said the situation in Baltimore reminded him of many of the same problems he saw as a community organizer in Chicago. The interview was taped Tuesday.
"I've seen this movie too many times before," he said. "We can make real progress but we're going to have to do it together. The best intentioned mayor or governor or police officer can't do it alone...We've just got to make sure that we don't brush this aside after the crisis is past."