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The Los Angeles Police Department is defending officers who shot and killed an unarmed, homeless man during this violent confrontation.

“Drop the gun.  He’s got my gun.  Drop the gun.  (Gunshots) Oh my God.”

Six officers were on the scene.

Officers used a Taser first.

You can hear it in the background.

It did not stop the suspect, so they shot him.

Five shots in all were fired.

LAPD’s Chief says the man went for the officer’s gun.

They showed a screen grab of it during a press conference.

Chief Charlie Beck is asking people to reserve judgment until the investigation is finished.

But some people on the scene of the shooting had already jumped to conclusions calling the black officer involved in the confrontation a sellout, a b-word and screaming, “The black m-fer killed him.”

“That’s the one that killed him. They black (bleep) killed him.  The black (bleep) killed him.  The black (bleep) killed him right there.”

When asked if we’re getting to the point where if a white officer shoots a black suspect he’s a racist, or if a black officer shoots a black suspect he’s a sellout, Neill Franklin, a retired state police major, who is black, told me this on CNN last night:

Franklin – “I think we’re not getting to that point.  We’re already to that point.  We’ve been there for a while with the number of police killings we’ve had in the past few months and years in this country.

“It is case after case after case and people are frustrated. So yeah you’re going to have people shouting various things such as what you saw in the video and it is unfortunate and we have to get on top of this ASAP.”

Tom Verni, a retired NYPD officer who is white said this:

Verni-  “I’ve worked with a number of black officers over the years at all kinds of different demonstrations we would be at.  I would catch some heat from black folks for being the white officer.  The officers who would stand next to me would catch just as much if not more heat than I was.  They would often be demonized.

Lemon- “You said its worse for black officers?

Verni – “On some occasions it would be as bad of worse for a black officers than it would be for a white officer.

Lemon – “Why is that?”

Verni – “Because there are people I think who really believe that the officers if they are of the same race, black or Hispanic or what have you that they feel that they are a sellout in some way, that they feel out they have sold out their own race by working for the police department.”

After Ferguson there was an outcry about police departments across the country not being diverse enough, specifically not having black officers in black communities.

If that is to come to fruition- we, as the retired black police major said – have to address the reasons why people feel that way as soon as possible.

Black unemployment is higher than it is for whites or Hispanics.

A job as a police officer would be a good job for anyone.

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Don Lemon On LAPD Skid Row Shooting  was originally published on