A comment at one forum already caught this, but in case you don't remember the incident, then-President Richard Nixon opined to reporters that then-defendant Charles Manson was guilty of the late 70s Tate and LaBianca murders in L.A. (Yours truly was growing up in L.A. back then, and the whole city was in a panic).
Manson attempted to get a mistrial by waving a newspaper headline of Nixon's comment at the jury.
So, President Obama's media comment about a Havard prof's beef with local gendarmes shows that as much as some things change, you can believe in some just stayin' the same.
Pres. Obama's pot-stirring also raises the issue of Federal criminalization of normally local law enforcement issues. We've moved from legitimate Federal involvement in protecting voting rights to any cross-racial exchange becoming a literal and figurative "Federal case." Except that cross-racial crime only seems to count as "hate" in one direction.