"When we have this conversation about policing in America, it seems to be so black and white because there's this idea that the victims of police violence are always black and all the police are always white," said Smith, who is African-American.
"This is somebody that they gave his life protecting a store from the looting and the rioting and all that stuff that has happened over the past 10 days," said Smith. "So when we talk about the police and we talk about the police's relationship with the African-American community, we need to stop starting from this idea that all police are white."
Additionally, Smith contended that the critics of police misconduct must stop demonizing police officers as a whole.
"The idea that police are the enemy of African-Americans, that police are the enemy of the community, that police are the enemy of law-abiding citizens of all colors -- that is a very destructive idea and it's a very toxic idea," said Smith, who stressed that he recognizes that there is a tension that exists between African-Americans and police officers.
Lastly, he suggested that the 'defund police' movement is an outgrowth of this type of thinking.
"The communities that are going to be hurt the most by this move to quote-unquote, 'defund the police' are lower-income communities, are African-American communities, are people that are living in the inner city and that are more susceptible to violence, not from police officers and not from the police force, but by people in their own communities," he concluded.
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