They feel misunderstood.
They sense people fear them, instead of seeking them out for help.
Seven police officers and sergeants from across the country sat down with me to describe what it's like to walk the streets in their shoes. They spoke about patrolling in a climate of distrust after a string of deaths and other incidents involving officers.
"Don't be afraid of us. We're human," Sgt. Frank Escobedo of Houston explained.
This story originally aired on the Today Show on April 29, 2015.
More of this interview was featured on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: