I’m out of town tonight, but semi-obsessively checking Twitter to see what’s going on down the road from where I live (a city to which I’ll be moving later this month). I am unsympathetic to Black Lives Matter as an organization, but I am sympathetic to the cause of uncovering and resisting police brutality, racially motivated or otherwise. By now, we all should have learned to be wary of video clips, because they don’t tell the whole story.

That said, this looks terrible for Baton Rouge police. It’s hard to imagine the context that makes turning out dressed like combat troops, and behaving so aggressively, understandable. Maybe readers who were there or who are better informed can shed light. If so, speak up, whatever your opinion.

After the Freddy Gray situation in Baltimore, a white conservative Baton Rouge friend of mine in a position to know things like this told me that BR had a police brutality problem, and that the city was “one police shooting away from blowing up like Ferguson.”

I pray that it doesn’t come to that, because riots do nobody any good, and most harm those who can least afford to lose. Still, the fact that my friend, a law-and-order white conservative, said that to me a few months back has made a difference in how I see events in Baton Rouge. When I get back to town, I’ll try to touch base with him and see what he thinks of what’s happening.