Prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson said Wednesday he is attending a meeting with President Obama designed to help mend frayed ties between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
“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 tweeted Wednesday.
Mckesson wrote he will be joined by fellow activist Brittany Packnett and Minneapolis-based Black Lives Matter leader Mica Grimm.
The president is sitting down with nearly three-dozen law enforcement officials, civil rights leaders, educators and local politicians at the White House in the aftermath of the massacre of five police officers in Dallas.
The officers were patrolling a protest march against separate police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge, La., and Falcon Heights, Minn.
Wednesday’s meeting also includes Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), Louisiana State Police chief Michael Edmonson, Saint Paul, Minn., Mayor Chris Coleman (D) and the city’s police chief, Todd Axtell, according to the White House.
“I think it’s the president’s desire to try to move the ball forward and make some progress in helping communities identify steps that they can take to address this problem,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday.
Obama is meeting with the large group two days after meeting with representatives from law enforcement groups to discuss the Dallas sniper attack. Obama flew to the Texas city on Tuesday to speak at a memorial service for the slain officers.
“With an open heart, police departments will acknowledge that, just like the rest of us, they are not perfect; that insisting we do better to root out racial bias is not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals,” the president said at the ceremony.
Referring to the victim of the Baton Rouge shooting, Obama added that, “even those who dislike the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter,’ surely we should be able to hear the pain of Alton Sterling’s family.”
— Updated at 3:44 p.m.