Community activist speaks about racial tensions & police violence

Posted: 9:47 AM, Jul 10, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-10 09:47:07-04

A former member of the New Black Panther Party spoke only to 7 Action News about racial tensions & police violence in light of the shootings last week.

It was the first time Malik Shabazz has spoken publicly about the Dallas shooting that left five police officers dead and seven others injured.

Micah Johnson, the man accused of killing the officers, is being looked into, including his possible connection to militant groups he's showed support for on social media.

Shabazz has spent his life as both a community activist in Detroit and a supporter of the Detroit police. He says while the killer may have supported groups like the New Black Panther Party, the party which he once belonged to, still preaches hope and peace.

"Love can help eliminate police terrorism," Shabazz said. "I'm afraid it will continue to happen until we change the minds and hearts of the people."

He also shares in the outrage of numerous fatal shootings of African American men, and views this latest attack on police as a tipping point.

"I have said for a long time, if transformative change doesn't take place in our nation, what we saw in Dallas would happen," he said. "You cannot stop hatred with hatred."

Shabazz credits Detroit police for their neighborhood police programs. He said they have helped to maintain trusting relationships in these tough times.