Was it a threat or a misunderstanding?

Messages started rolling into the KFR Facebook inbox Friday Night about pictures of Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer, Tim Millard's hand gesture toward a black photographer.

The fact that the Police Chief, Mayor and County Commissioner got involved so quickly makes me feel optimistic.  That tells me that if something terrible like Minneapolis or New Orleans happened that we have local leaders ready to act and take the public's concerns seriously.

However, after speaking with 2 people who have known this officer since high school, I'm left wondering if the gesture was in fact not a threat.

One of my friends voiced her concern with the social media rise agaisnt him and said, "I grew up with T.J. Millard. He's a good guy and he cares about all members of our community."

Many people have also stated that the gesture in question is one that he used often, not as a threat but a greeting.

According to WWMT,

Interim Kalamazoo NAACP President Dr. Carla Campbell-Jackson tells Newschannel 3 that she invited Hadley to the Kalamazoo NAACP monthly meeting on Tuesday night, and says he was very receptive to coming.

Both have told Newschannel 3 that it speaks to a need for greater relationship building in the community.

I'm happy to see the City of Kalamazoo take the public's concerns seriously.  But at the same time, we need to keep our good cops around.  He may be simply guilty of poor judgement not a racist or threatening gesture.  Let's all keep a level head and see how this pans out.