As the city of Oakland begins the recovery process in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of four police officers, rapper/activist Mistah F.A.B. offered up his thoughts on the tragic incident.

While F.A.B. does not condone the shooting deaths of the officers, he hopes the tragedy will be the catalyst for a dialog between the community—which has dealt with police brutality for decades—and the officers sworn to protect and serve them.

I’m not saying it’s right,” F.A.B. told several days ago. “I don’t want to see anybody lose their life. I don’t believe in taking a life. At the end of the day, that’s somebody’s father, somebody’s friend and somebody’s husband. I’m not saying that’s right. What I am saying is, ‘Why does it take the deaths of these cops to bring to light the injustices that have been going on for the last 30 or 40 years?’”

F.A.B. makes it clear that he does not share the sweeping, anti-police sentiment offered up by other artists; praising officers that do a good job and condemning those who fail to speak out against injustice.

“I’m not saying all police are cowards,” he said. “There are some good men of law that do their jobs and carry out the job description efficiently. There are good men of law. But those good men are just as guilty as the guilty ones when they don’t take a stand towards justice. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. If wrong has been done, say you don’t support the wrong that’s being done. If not, you’re just as wrong as the person [committing the act].”

At the end of the day, F.A.B. compares the city of Oakland to a battered woman when describing the often contentious relationship between residents and police.

“I look at our city as a battered woman. No matter how good the men are, we will always feel that they are out to get us. Until the men who patrol and govern us show that they are working just as hard to help out as they were working to hurt, we will always have our defenses up.”