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President Barack Obama is receiving a lot of heat following The President and the People town hall that broadcast across all of the Disney networks on Thursday night.

Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner – the man killed by an illegal chokehold in 2014 – expressed her disappointment with the town hall on race via social media. In one posting on Twitter, Garner said, “I was upset because ABC lied and used me, my pain, and suffering for ratings.”

Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, called the town hall meeting “a waste of time” and said the broadcast was “clearly heavily edited.”

Martin also made mention of the individuals brought together for the event, noting family members of those who lost their lives at the hands of police officers were sitting side-by-side with family members of cops who killed African-Americans.

Martin said, “It was weird to have the mother of one of the cops that is going on trial, when we have a video of what he did, and he also lied about it.”

NewsOne Now panelist Angela Rye explained the purpose of the president’s town hall was to “soothe race relations in this country.” She added, “I think the president often walks a very difficult balance” of trying to please those who elected him, and the African-American community who overwhelmingly support him.

“I think that he carries this burden of trying to be Black enough, but also I think you hear this struggle out loud – [of him] supportive of law enforcement.” Rye continued, “I just don’t think that we’re in a moment right now in this country where you can afford to do both.”

Patrisse Cullors, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter, also shared her views on Mr. Obama’s town hall: “What we’ve seen over the last couple of years is the Obama administration sit and meet with the activists and there’s been a lot of talk, but not enough action.

The town hall felt disrespectful, there should have been two separate town halls. They shouldn’t have brought all those different communities together,” she continued.

Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel’s reactions to President Obama’s town hall on race and policing in the video clip above.


Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

Subscribe to the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast on iTunes.

Is Obama Walking A Fine Line Between Supporting Cops & The Black Community?  was originally published on