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Obama asks police to punish officers who act inappropriately

Washington, Apr 29 (EFE).- President Barack Obama called on police departments nationwide, instead of "closing ranks" around officers who act inappropriately, to bring them to account, in a radio interview broadcast on Wednesday.

If police departments want to create a safer environment for their officers, they must "build more trust (with their communities). It's in their interest to root out people who aren't doing their job instead of the closing of the ranks we see," Obama said on The Steve Harvey Morning Show.

Obama spoke on Tuesday from the White House on the violence and rioting that erupted in Baltimore after the death of another young black man while in police custody.

In the radio interview, the president once again firmly condemned those disturbances, in which at least 20 police officers were injured, and he praised them for their work and their "restraint" in the face of the protests.

On Tuesday night, Baltimore once again experienced violent clashes between police and demonstrators after the curfew decreed by city authorities. Ten people were arrested.

Two thousand National Guard troops and another 1,000 police officers on Tuesday patrolled the streets of Baltimore to try and prevent a repeat of the violence from the previous day.

Just as he said on Tuesday from the White House, Obama once again insisted that, apart from the Baltimore protests or those that broke out several months ago after the deaths in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City of two unarmed black men at the hands of police, the underlying causes of the problem must be examined.

"Unfortunately, we've seen these police-related killings or deaths too often now and obviously everybody is starting to recognize that this is not just an isolated incident in Ferguson or New York, but we've got some broader issues," Obama said.

The president said that he does not intend - in the near term - to travel to Baltimore, located just an hour from Washington.

Once things have calmed down, he said, would be the time for him to go to Baltimore.

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