WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Barack Obama called on American law enforcement to root out bias in its ranks and said all Americans should be troubled by frequent police shootings of blacks and Hispanics, insisting that fatal incidents in Minnesota and Louisiana are not isolated.

Adding his voice to a growing public outcry, Obama said the shootings were symptoms of a “broader set of racial disparities” in the justice system that aren’t being fixed quickly enough.

He ticked through a list of statistics he said showed concerns about bias are real: African-Americans being shot by police or arrested at more than twice the rate of white Americans.

“When incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if it’s because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same,” Obama said. “And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us.”

Obama’s diagnosis of the problem reflected a growing sense of frustration and willingness to speak out publicly about police killings despite the risk of making law enforcement officers feel under attack.

The president spoke in a hastily arranged appearance at a hotel in Warsaw just after arriving in Poland for a NATO summit. He largely echoed comments he made earlier in the day in a Facebook post as the two deaths were increasingly capturing the country’s attention.

“They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post.

Obama’s diagnosis of the problem reflected a growing sense of frustration and willingness to speak out publicly about police killings despite the risk of making law enforcement officers feel under attack.

PHOTOS: Fatal Police Shooting In Minnesota | Louisiana Protests

“In the meantime, all Americans should recognize the anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling — feelings that are being expressed in peaceful protests and vigils. Michelle and I share those feelings,” Obama said. “Rather than fall into a predictable pattern of division and political posturing, let’s reflect on what we can do better. Let’s come together as a nation, and keep faith with one another, in order to ensure a future where all of our children know that their lives matter.”

Though the White House has sought to avoid commenting on specific cases before all facts are known, in this case Obama weighed in while both shootings are still being investigated, including a civil rights probe by the U.S. Justice Department into the Louisiana incident.

Similar statements about other shootings have stoked tensions with law enforcement, including with FBI Director James Comey, who has suggested the intense public focus on police officers’ conduct, fueled by caught-on-camera moments, may be inhibiting officers as they try to protect their communities.

Aiming to pre-empt that concern, Obama said that speaking out about the issue is not an attack on police. He emphasized that he and other Americans appreciate the risks police officers take and mourn officers who die in the line of duty.

“When people say ‘black lives matter,’ that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter,” Obama said, referring to uniformed officers. “That just means all lives matter.”

Yet despite Obama’s efforts to bridge misunderstandings between African-Americans and the police, the problem clearly persists, and the wide use of cellphone cameras and social media has thrust the issue further into public view. In 2014, Obama created a task force to develop modern policing guidelines, and he urged local communities and policing agencies to implement those recommendations drafted by the Justice Department.

“To admit we’ve got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day,” Obama said. “It is to say that, as a nation, we can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement.”

Obama said he is “encouraged” that the Justice Department is conducting a civil rights investigation into the incident in Louisiana, where 37-year-old Alton Sterling was fatally shot Tuesday as he tussled with two white officers outside a convenience store in a predominantly black neighborhood. The shooting was caught on tape and went viral online.

On Wednesday in Minnesota, a man identified as 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot to death during a traffic stop. His girlfriend posted video of the aftermath of his killing live on Facebook, saying he had been shot “for no apparent reason” while reaching for his wallet as an officer had asked.

Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed Obama’s sentiments as he said he was “reeling” after watching the videos.

“I just want to say it’s an unacceptable state of affairs. This is not what America is supposed to be,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio also questioned how police in those cities were trained and said the NYPD is leading the way in new training tactics, which includes de-escalation.

“It’s obviously also a further example of why we need body cameras,” the mayor said. “This city is moving aggressively to implement body cameras.”

Obama has wrestled for much of his presidency with the policing issue, the “Black Lives Matter” movement and his role as the first black president in responding to it. After the issue burst into the spotlight in 2012 with the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida, Obama insisted the U.S. take the issue seriously and added, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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