Social media is bringing the “tensions” and divide between the black community and police officers to the forefront, said Amanda Gillespie, assistant professor of political science at Miami University.
For America to move forward following the Dallas shootings, and the previous racial unrest between citizens and the police, she said officers need to be held accountable and departments need to be transparent.
“We need to speak the truth about it,” said Gillespie, 32. “There will be mistakes. We need to have openly talk about America’s racial history and present.”
In a Facebook message posted just after the shootings in Dallas, Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw wrote, “America is more divisive than I have ever seen it. It is torn. It has to stop. Good officers are here for you. Bad officers need to get out of the profession immediately. Good officers deserve good pay, good benefits and your support. Bad officers deserve a termination and maybe more.”
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Gillespie called the last three days of violence “complete sadness,” but said the country can move forward. She called the road to healing “a long and painful process.”
Before the suspect was killed in Dallas, he told police he was “upset about Black Lives Matter, he was upset about the recent police shootings, he was upset at white people,” said Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown. “The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
When Gillespie learned the alleged snipers were targeting white Dallas police officers, she was shocked the motive was determined and released so quickly.
“That’s a tragedy no matter the motivation,” she said. “I hesitate to assign blame until the investigation is over.”