Barack Obama is holding a virtual town hall to address the civil unrest that is sweeping the nation.
Tonight's event will mark the first time Obama will make on-camera comments about the police killing of George Floyd and the widespread protests it ignited. The former president will be joined by his former attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr.; President of Color of Change Rashad Robinson; Minneapolis City Council Representative Phillipe Cunningham; and MBK Columbus Youth Leader Playon Patrick.
Obama's statements came at the top of the stream, where he reiterated the message of his newly published Medium post, How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change. He described the ongoing civil unrest as "difficult and scary and uncertain," but said he remained optimistic about the nation's future.
"Sometimes when I feel despair, I just see what's happening with young people all across the country," he said. "It makes me feel optimistic. It makes me feel as if ... this country's gonna get better."
Obama also shared some words of encouragement for the younger generation.
"I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter," he said. "And when I go home and look at my daughters, Sasha and Malia, and look at my nephews and nieces, I see the limitless potential that continues to thrive. You should be able to learn and make mistakes and live a life of joy without worrying about what's going to happen if you go to the store or go for a jog or are driving down the street or looking at some birds in a park."
You can watch the town hall, sponsored by Obama's nonprofit organization My Brother's Keeper Alliance, above.
Obama's comments come just hours after Minnesota authorities charged three more officers in the death of Floyd. The 46-year-old black man was killed on Memorial Day during an arrest attempt in Minneapolis. Viral video showed former officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck as he repeatedly shouted, "I can't breathe." Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after.
An independent autopsy determined Floyd died of "asphyxiation from sustained pressure." Chauvin's charges have since been upgraded from third-degree murder to second-degree murder, while the other three officers involved in the case—Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, 34—have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.