We are living through probably the most divisive and destructive times in our country since The Civil War. We've seen images of unbridled violence and destruction on every platform at our disposal.

It's frightening and it's heartbreaking. More heartbreaking for the family of George Floyd probably than for anyone else. Not only did they lose a loved one, but they're watching the utter chaotic destruction of the county in HIS name, adding salt to their already deep wounds.

His brother spoke out Monday, pleading for peace and an end to the insanity that has spiraled out of control. The anguish and pain caused by the Minneapolis police officer is justified and should be dealt with swiftly and severely. There is no room for people like him on any police force. The vast majority of police agree with that. How he was able to stay on the force with 19 complaints against him is baffling.

But the mayhem that has ensued does no one any good, especially the people in the cities where lawlessness is being allowed to continue. City after city where this kind of incident has not occurred is paying the price. Both the citizens and decent law enforcement who had nothing to do with the actions of a bad cop, and those who didn't deal with him properly, are suffering for no reason. It's a local issue and if it happens anywhere else, and we pray it never does, it should be dealt with quickly and severely in that local jurisdiction. The way that this anger, hatred and violence has spread across the country so quickly makes you wonder if other forces are at work.

The anger over anyone losing their life at the hands of another is understandable, especially if it's at the hands of the people charged with protecting us. The widespread anger and violence is blamed on the systemic violence toward black men by police. A comprehensive study on the subject does not bear that out.

“We found that the race of the officer doesn’t matter when it comes to predicting whether black or white citizens are shot," Joseph Cesario, co-author and professor of psychology at  Michigan State University, said.  "If anything, black citizens are more likely to have been shot by black officers, but this is because black officers are drawn from the same population that they police. So, the more black citizens there are in a community, the more black police officers there are.”

Here is the report from Michigan State University. I found the report on a friend's website. That friend happens to be black. Not that it should matter. It shouldn't matter in this case or any other. But more and more, as we wade deeper into the waters of identity politics, unfortunately it seems to matter more and more. In most of American society people of all backgrounds have come together in friendships, business partnerships, marriages and friendly neighborhood relationships. We've made a lot of progress since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He would be proud of that fact and absolutely disgusted and hurt to see what's happened this week at the hands of some sick people of all stripes.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.

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