"We're asking cops to do too much in this country. ... Schools fail, give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women. Let's give that as well."
Serve your communities. ... We're hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in. And we'll put you in your neighbourhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you're protesting about."
"We're all on edge. And we're being very careful."
Black Dallas Police Chief David Brown
|Dallas police chief David Brown was intimate with loss well before five police officers were killed at a protest in Dallas Thursday night. (Mark Mulligan / Associated Press)|
"I think it is fair to say we will see more tension between police and communities this month, next month, next year, for quite some time."
"[Those who don’t agree with the movement will do] everything in their power [to discredit it]."
"It’s not a new tactic, and we know it’s not an honest tactic. We should not have to protest. We’re in the street because police have killed people. We would love to go home, but we can’t go home. We are unwilling to go home."
Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson
"We've seen nothing like this at all."
"The average officer in America, who was tense anyway, their tension and vigilance is going to increase even more. Police officers have always been vulnerable, and they know it. But somewhere inside you, you didn't think it would happen. But now we're seeing it happen [snipers aiming to kill police]."
Darrel W. Stephens, executive director, Major Cities Chiefs Association; instructor, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
"I think commanders all over the country, me included, are worried about our officers as they manage different events."
"Dallas and Baton Rouge have probably showed us that we're going to have to err on the side of protecting our officers so we can protect the community."
Chief Jon Belomar, St.Louis County, Missouri
"Black Lives Matter isn't responsible for the deaths of anyone."
"Yet we can attribute scores and scores of deaths of black people to the hands of law enforcement, and I think that is where the attention should be."
Kareem Henton, activist, Black Lives Matter
|The three law-enforcement officers killed in Baton Rough, Louisiana, were, from left, Montrell Jackson, Brad Garafola and Matthew Gerald. CNN|
Three police officers shot dead in Baton Rouge on July 17. And ten days earlier than the Baton Rouge event, five were shot to death in Dallas. In both incidents an additional dozen police officers were injured in the attacks. Police in the United States are fearful, anguished and confused. The estimated 900,000 state and local law enforcement officers are in a collective state of disillusionment and concern for not only public safety but their own security.
The defenders have no one to defend them. So they are doing whatever they can. Across the country officers are now ensuring they drive in pairs in squad cars for an assurance of at least basic safety. They're more observant, watching for potentially untoward actions while walking their beats and anxiety remains at a high level. There isn't a police officer anywhere who isn't planning at the end of his daily shift to return home hale and sound.
There isn't a more horrifically ominous call than to hear "Officer down" over their radios. The threat seems to be coming out of nowhere. The ambush style of the attacks is totally unexpected; no police officer goes about with the thought uppermost in mind: there might be a sniper aiming directly at my head out there. Videos displaying fatal shootings of African American men by police lead the news and lead Black Lives Matter groups to vociferously march in their own defense.
"Cops are hurt. They don't understand what's going on. Every cop in America is on their guard", noted Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "How many police funerals must occur before the American public finally says 'enough is enough'?, he asks redundantly. Black Lives Matter activists are not impressed, and they are not inclined to feel guilty, that they have had any involvement whatever in the lashback.
On the other hand, it should be fair to ask where the Black Lives marchers are in their own communities when the horrific death toll among African Americans at the hands of African Americans is colossal, and no one seems to be dreadfully perturbed and committed to finding a solution. The arguments that poverty encourages gang activity and criminal action, and drug- and firearm-peddling leading to violence and death can go only so far.
|2 dead, 16 injured at Fort Myers Club Blu shooting -- news press.com|
Why are African American men so loathe to be responsible for their offspring, leaving their raising to women alone, and in the process presenting to the young a formula to continue to ignore the needs of kids to be nurtured by whole families, by the presence of their fathers? Why is there so little emphasis in that community on the desirability of achieving an education? Why is self-respect not tied in with respect for others as a lesson in social harmony?
Why, above all, is the black community continuing to be over-represented in crime and social malaise? Why is it that the African American community is so averse to helping police solve the murder rate of black-on-black slaughter, to begin to clear up that file, which would actually be of help to the community?
"I've been watching this [activist group Black Lives Matter] for two years. I've predicted this. [BLM is a] hateful ideology", black Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke stated in an exchange with CNN's Don Lemon. As far as Sheriff Clarke is concerned, Black Lives Matter is wholly responsible for the violence unleashed on police in the United States. He is of the opinion that President Obama has tarred law enforcement as being racist whereas recent studies reflect the opposite being the case; that there is no institutional racism in American police forces.
He contends that the disproportionate profiling and perceived aggression by police in their reactions to and dealing with black males is off the mark; that bypassing the reality of disproportionate violent crime committed by blacks and the related risks to police performing their profession balancing out the equation is the real, unexplored issue for society to contemplate.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown addressed his 3,600 member police department, to comfort them over the loss of police lives. His own experience as an African American, a father, and a police officer has informed him of the deep tragedy that infuses American life in a way few others have experienced it. "The past few days have been very troubling and emotional for all of us. My family has not only lost a son, but a fellow police officer and a private citizen lost their lives at the hands of our son. That hurts so deeply I cannot adequately express the sadness I feel inside my heart."
His 27-year-old son had amassed a few minor convictions. But there was a day when his girlfriend called police that Brown's son was in the throes of "a psychotic breakdown", had hit her. And then later that day, he shot a 23-year-old man in Lancaster, Texas. When a Lancaster police officer, 37-year-old Craig Shaw, responded to the shooting, Chief Brown's son shot and killed him as well. Totally unexpected. Wholly indefensible.
So the invitation to African Americans to be a part of the solution, not grow the problem instead, comes from someone who knows the intimate pain of grief and inconsolable sorrow that his own flesh and blood became the problem even while his father sought to pursue the solution.