Last week, in a stunning 96-hour period there was the Imperfect Storm. The officer involved shootings in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, followed by the massacre of police officers in Dallas. Those deaths brought to light, not for the first time or the last time, the gulf between law enforcement and the communities we serve.
It is important that we acknowledge two critical failures.
First, we have a broken society where those who feel left behind are frustrated to the point of violence. This violence is not just on “the system” but on each other as verified by the overwhelming number of crime victims being African-American or “black on black” crime. Every year, approximately 6,000 African-Americans are homicide victims, mostly by other African-Americans. This is an ugly statistic but it is one which must be acknowledged. As an important note, 12% of all white and Hispanic homicide victims are killed by police officers compared to 4% of African-American homicide victims being killed by a police officer. But, the advent of video identifying bad judgment and even criminality on the part of police officers has led to this boiling point.