Residents on edge after recent acts of violence - WNEM TV 5

Residents on edge after recent acts of violence

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Police and residents around Mid-Michigan are still shocked by the tragedy in Dallas.

"It's hard to respond. It is just a sad thing that's going on," said Gary Adams, concerned about the violence.

Adams is like many in America that are puzzled by the rash of violence either directed toward police or toward unarmed residents, mainly African American men.

Many believe it's a dialogue on racism that can no longer be avoided.

The recent events in Dallas where five police officers were ambushed and killed, as well as brutal deaths of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, has sent shock waves of caution to police departments nationwide.

For Adams, it's a reminder of his personal fear when approached for any reason by police.

"For a black man it's hard out here right now. So you just gotta do the best to stay safe and watch. And me and my brother joke police stop us, I'm just gonna 'my hands are right here,'" Adams said.

The subject is no joking matter. In 2015 the Washington Post started tracking fatal police shooting and the project continued this year. As of Sunday, 1,505 people have been shot and killed by on duty police officers since Jan. 1, 2015. Of them, 733 were white and 382 were black. The other 390 were of another or unknown race.

"After a while, police get the idea 'I can get away with anything,'" Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said.

Pickell is disturbed by the recent news involving officers of the law. While he admits 99 percent of all men and women in uniform do an outstanding job, it's the 1 percent that make it bad for others.

"Police chiefs don't take action when they see something that police officers are doing. They need to take a corrective action. They want maybe two or 300 people at their funeral and they want to be liked by everybody," Pickell said.

Pickell does not condone what happens to police officers is right, but he said change must come to proper policing.

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