Expert weighs in on how communities, police can move forward after Dallas police shootings

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 18:20:16-04

A violent week in America ended with more violence, leaving some wondering how we got here, and how do we get out of it.

Our country has gotten more and more polarized, and that problem has only helped us get to where we are today, one expert told ABC2 News. Threat analyst Don Rondeau said it's a problem that's accelerated within the past four years and will only get worse unless we do something now.

Reaction from leaders both nationally and locally condemning Dallas violence came quick, but if words are the most to come from a week of bloodshed, an opportunity for change is missed, Rondeau said.

"There's a perception in the law enforcement community that they are under siege," Rondeau said. "The same perception is held by many civilians, particularly in the minority community."

Rondeau has worked for years as an expert on the area where American policing and issues of social justice meet. He said seeing a man killed by police after selling CD's, or during a traffic stop, or during other well-known incidents creates mistrust of police within the community, leaving all police to feel their motives are questioned.

"Because their motivations are questioned, they believe they're in danger," Rondeau said.

And that, Rondeau said, leads to a feeling of added danger in a job that is already dangerous. But the problem isn't solved just by understanding what feeds it. Rondeau said that happens when politicians and leaders move beyond talking points and begin looking for ways to solve it, which he said starts with acknowledging some people perceive there are different rules for different people.

"We live in a country where we have one constitution, one set of rules, for everyone, and the American public -- law enforcement and civilians alike -- understand that we have different rules for different people, we're on the wrong path," said Rondeau.

Rondeau said that both sides need to come to the table to discuss issues of perception. Commissions and work groups are a good start, but moving beyond the usual talking points would help.

That, he said, starts with our elected and community leaders.

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android.