“When it comes, as we’ve seen, unfortunately, in recent days, to our criminal justice system, too many Americans feel deep unfairness when it comes to the gap between our professed ideals and how laws are applied on a day-to-day basis,” Obama said.

He acknowledged addressing the issue was a big challenge, but said it should galvanize the country and bring Americans together.

The New York grand jury’s decision to not indict a police officer in the death of Garner, who was placed in a chokehold and said “I can’t breathe” as he was pulled to the ground, hit Washington like a sledgehammer.