Less than a week after five Dallas law enforcement officers were killed by a lunatic gunman, the nation is again reeling from a deadly confrontation between cops and an ex-military extremist. This past Sunday, former Marine Gavin Long gunned down three officers in Baton Rouge, a city on edge after police shot Alton Sterling, a black man, on July 5.
I dread the day one of my cop friends is shot by a crazy shooter seeking revenge for the murder of an innocent black person.
Make no mistake, I love and respect good cops. Over the years, I've become friends with many officers who try hard to connect with the black communities they serve. But I have a problem with bad cops, just like I have issues with bad African-Americans who kill innocent kids in Miami's inner-city neighborhoods.
We will never get past this issue unless the police fraternity tears down the blue wall of silence. We need to have hard conversations about cops — regardless of their race or ethnicity — protecting bad apples. Sometimes, officers do nothing though they know colleagues abuse the badge and break the law.
Homicide investigators often plead with African-Americans to end the no-snitching culture. Yet no one tells cops to do the same. Departments and unions that stop protecting bad cops can send a message that no institution is above the law. A person can be charged as an accessory to murder for witnessing a homicide and not reporting it to law enforcement. Why can't the cop who stays silent about an unjustified killing be charged with the same crime?
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Even prosecutors rarely bring charges against killer cops because laws are designed to protect law enforcement officials. They also fear pissing off police departments.
We are on the verge of a civil war. If we don't stop making excuses for the actions of bad people, all Americans will start shooting one another.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.