What is happening in New York City, my original hometown, and communities in many parts of America is a tragedy and an outrage. No American citizen — black or otherwise — should be the victim of police brutality or killed while in the custody of police. Nobody who serves in the police — almost all of whom are good people protecting their community with courage — should be attacked or killed in wanton murders by criminals seeking vengeance or violence for any reason. And all demonstrators should be supported in their right to peaceful protest and not unfairly blamed for criminal acts they deplore along with all decent people.

I support Mayor Bill De Blasio of New York, who has strongly condemned both police brutality and attacks against innocent policemen. Certain leaders in the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association — who have every right to be outraged by attacks against police, an outrage I fully share — were way out of line, and made a bad situation worse by attacking de Blasio. A handful of protestors — who were condemned by all major important civil rights leaders, a condemnation I fully join — do not represent the civil rights movement or the local community.

ADVERTISEMENT

All sides to this debate should stand down from overheated rhetoric, calm down in their condemnations of the innocent and work together to solve a problem of bad relations between police and community that occurs in far too many American communities today.

In New York, Mayor de Blasio, and nationally, President Obama, should convene summit meetings of community activists, and law enforcement and civil right leaders, and religious leaders of all denominations. There should be plans to put cameras on police — not photo ops about plans that are never implemented — which would protect citizens from police brutality and would protect the police from many of the attacks against them.

Police brutality has no place in America, and must be stopped. Those who commit brutality should be brought to justice, which far too often has not happened. Attacks against the police who protect the community must not be tolerated and those who commit such acts should be brought to justice to the full extent of the law. And law-abiding, nonviolent protestors should be respected as they voice their views, which most Americans share, against police brutality committed by a very small number of people who do not represent, and in fact dishonor, their bothers and sisters on the force.

Above, everyone needs to tone down the voices of anger and sit down to create solutions.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.