WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama is meeting Wednesday with activists from the Black Lives Matter movement as well as a range of law enforcement officials and community leaders amid a spate of violence between black communities and police across the country.
Black Lives Matter activists DeRay Mckesson and Brittany Packnett will be in attendance, as will Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Mckesson tweeted: “We are at the @WhiteHouse right now for a 3-hour convening w/ President Obama re: the recent events in #BatonRouge & across the country.”
Mckesson was recently arrested while protesting the killing of Alton Sterling, a black man, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A few days later, five officers were killed in Dallas by a sniper.
Mckesson and Bel Edwards will have much to talk about after the Louisiana governor’s state has been front and center in the policing debate, following the death of Sterling.
Other participants included mayors, law enforcement officials, activists and spiritual leaders according to the White House.
Five police chiefs were to attend, as well as four mayors, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
State and local lawmakers were also in attendance.
Other activists present include the Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP President Cornell Brooks.
“There are people who are participating in this meeting who have uttered public comments that have not been 100% supportive of what the President has said,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “What will also be a part of the conversation today is, what can local political leaders do more of? What can law enforcement officials do more of? What can civil rights leaders do more of? What can community leaders do more to repair this trust that in too many communities has been frayed?”
The meeting was scheduled to last three hours and Obama is expected to make brief remarks at its conclusion.