Police officers shouldn't be attacked or killed just because they've chosen the dangerous job to protect and serve their fellow citizens. Nor should Black and brown people be injured or killed by cops because of the color of their skin.
But as those types of tragedies continue to occur in America, they feed a national sense of fear and rage.
Most recently, the horrific shooting of two Compton, Calif., sheriff's deputies as they sat in their marked SUV ratcheted up that rage. The shooting, captured on video, showed a lone gunman run up to the window and shoot the officers multiple times.
A crowd that formed outside the hospital where the officers were treated reportedly shouted, "Death to police" and "We hope they die" while they tried to block emergency entrances.
It seems obvious that none of this advances police reform, reduces gun violence or protects people of color from excessive force at the hands of police. Instead, it creates more anger and division.
Some use social media to make matters worse, such as by hijacking the legitimate purpose of Black Lives Matter to promote violence, and by publishing anti-police screeds.
A recent report from the Network Contagion Research Institute documents the online use of toxic, anti-police slogans, some of which include images of cops being shot or squad cars burning.
The research group also reports that right-wing extremists, including white supremacists, have been active on social media and have been responsible for more violence nationally, according to federal officials.
Those responsible for carrying out that violence, including the shooter in Compton, must be held accountable. And the difficult work of meaningful reform in law enforcement must continue.
Americans are better than this.