The images are troubling and there is no excuse for the behavior shown in the video posted by KSN TV Fresno.  The California Highway Patrol officer was accosted in his car as a group of people shouted at him and violently shook and struck his vehicle. They broke windows, dented the car in many places and caused extensive damage. The suspects remain at large.

While there is absolutely no excuse for such violence, there is also the need to understand its motive: what would make a group of citizens feel so fearless? Why would they be so willing to incite the use of deadly force if the officer decided to aggressively defend himself? Why would they feel such little respect for the officer's authority? The answers are not pleasant. The incident itself is not pleasant. But if this nation seeks to genuinely address the rift between police and the communities they are sworn to protect, an honest assessment of this type of incident is essential.