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Queen Latifah talks tensions after shootings: 'If we get real about it, we can deal with it'

On TODAY Friday morning, Queen Latifah discussed the rising tensions about police violence across the country and what might be a way to work past them.
/ Source: TODAY

It's been a week of shocking deaths and mounting tragedy that's seen two black men killed during interactions with police and five police officers shot to death at what was meant to be a peaceful protest.

On Friday morning, Queen Latifah visited TODAY to discuss the rising tensions across the country and what might just be a way to work past them.

"It's terrible, but we have to get real about it," she said of the recent events. "If we get real about it, we can deal with it. But if we want to act like, 'Oh no, that's their problem,' and 'This only happens here.'

"No, it's happening to all of us," the actress and rapper said.

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Queen Latifah's visit to TODAY came the morning after five cops were shot by a sniper at a peaceful protest against police violence in Dallas.

Protesters at the rally had gathered to call for justice after gruesome videos emerged this week showing black men in Minnesota and Louisiana being shot to death in separate encounters with cops.

The New Jersey-bred entertainer said she sees the issues of police violence and violence against cops from both sides — as a black woman and as someone whose father, brother and other family members are cops.

"I'm Queen Latifah, but I'm black wherever I go," she said. "I deal with the same experiences that other people deal with. I'm also the daughter of a cop, I'm also the sister of a cop, the cousin of a cop and the niece of cops.

"I don't want the guns turned on police any more than I want the guns turned on us," she said.

She stressed that "we need police and we don’t need to be the enemies of police."

"I don’t want my father or my brother getting shot because some bad cops are doing this, consistently," she said.

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Instead, she emphasized the need to hold law enforcement accountable — to "make an example of someone," she said.

"Because there's no way all of these things could happen and there's no guilty police officers (involved)," Latifah said.

"Every time these things happen, no one is really brought to justice at the end of the day. By the time it's all said and done, the police officers usually walk," she said.

"And what it does is leave us feeling empty, feeling hurt and feeling like we have no recompense and that it's going to happen again."

And that's not all it does, she argued.

"And what it also does is endanger the life of police officers," she added. "You make all these good cops have to walk out here dealing with bad cops' BS, dealing with the stuff bad cops are doing."