Police chief speaks about Black Lives Matter movement - WNEM TV 5

Police chief speaks about Black Lives Matter movement

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Police are on guard for attacks after a gunman opened fire on white police officers at a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas, killing five officers.

The turmoil is leaving a divide across the country with police on one side and the communities they protect on the other.

"It's an eye opener because there does seem to be white on black shootings than black on black, or white on white. As far as when it comes down to police. You don't see black police officers shooting black individuals like that," Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson said.

Johnson gave his theory on the most recent violence involving police. Some have defined the actions as racist. However, Johnson isn't so quick to pull the trigger on that reason alone.

"I think it's a thing of not understanding the cultures and you also got to stop and say they are afraid. We are human too. We don't want to expect when we pull a car over, when someone is reaching just stay calm and be normal and keep your hands where they can be seen," Johnson said.

In more than 30 years policing, Johnson said he has never been in a situation where he has had to draw his weapon.

Meanwhile, the nationwide Black Lives Matter campaign has, in his opinion, separated a nation. Johnson wants dialogue and he's determined to urge it in Flint.

"All lives matter. White lives matter. Everybody else's lives matter. I'm not understanding a lot of these shootings, I gotta be real with you. I think that the police departments need to come together even with the citizens to say 'we are not apart of this.' It's found to be an unjustified shooting. We should not stand behind the shooter in uniform and say 'I'm not apart of that.' That is not what I was trained to do, taught to do. My job is protect and serve," Johnson said.

Johnson said his officers go through a sensitivity training. He also wants to make sure they have other options other than shooting and perhaps even using a tazer.

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