CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They all wear the same uniform but do black and white officers at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department look at the Randal Kerrick case the same way?
The 27-year-old white officer is accused of gunning down Jonathan Ferrell, an African American motorist, early Saturday morning as he was trying to get help following an auto accident.
The divide can be seen on the controversial Cedar Posts blog, where Chief Rodney Monroe is accused of "throwing a white officer under the bus."
"If race comes up during that conversation, that should be discussed and shouldn't be hidden," said Dr. Vivian Lord, the former head of UNCC's Criminal Justice Department.
Lord has worked extensively with the department and doubts there is much of a divide.
"They have to be able to work to know they have each other's backs, so I don't see this becoming some huge rift if they are allowed to talk about it," she said.
Privately, some officers say there is tension.
The Fraternal Order of Police reportedly is standing behind Kerrick. President Todd Walter scoffs at the notion of a racial divide and doesn't give much credence to the blog.