A week of headline-grabbing incidents of fatal shootings of and by police officers has made it clear that the United States has a problem it doesn't seem to know how to solve. The vast majority of citizens agree that both black and blue lives matter, but are frustrated in efforts to move that sentiment forward into meaningful action.
Sergeant Chuck Wells of the Benton County Sheriff's Department in Arkansas has plenty of suggestions. "It's time for everybody in this country to take a step back," he said in a video posted to Facebook on July 8. "Take a deep breath and shut your mouth. You cannot hear the voice of reason. You cannot hear that still, small voice trying to give you an answer while you're running your mouth. And that goes for everybody."

Wells' impassioned pleas run for five and a half minutes, and makes a powerful statement not only with his words but by speaking while in uniform, alone in his vehicle. By morning on July 12, the video had been viewed over one million times and received thousands of comments.

"The rest of the world is looking at this mess thinking, 'Who in the world have we been putting our trust in?' because right now we're acting like a bunch of buffoons and morons," Wells said. "Let's get back to the basics," he advises. "Love your brother. Love your sister. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And if this kind of leadership is beneath you, then why are you in this country?"

It's not the first time that Wells has used video to speak out about law enforcement issues. In September 2015, he released a video statement criticizing President Obama for what Wells perceives as a lack of acknowledgement of officers killed in the line of duty. The statement was made from behind a flag-draped lectern while blue emergency lights flashed from off-screen.

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Posted by Sergeant Chuck Wells on Friday, July 8, 2016