*One thing about black folk, no matter what their station in life, they are gonna tell it and tell it true. And Dallas Police Chief David Brown is no exception. He may be a 33-year-veteran of the Dallas Police Force, but it is only recently that many even learned who he is. Too bad his fame came about as a result of one of the darkest times in human history.
I’ll be gentle.
The civil unrest between Black people and police officers.
A photo of his face buried in one hand as he stood at a prayer vigil for the two victims and five officers killed in Dallas went viral. And he has not held back at press conferences; wearing his heart on his sleeve as he admits, “We’re hurting.”
He says he is “exhausted.” And he has every reason to be. He is not a man who just stepped into the job after playing cops and robbers as a kid, or watching police officers from the safety of his TV. Brown is an unsung hero who stepped up after experiencing his own trauma. He is the father of a son who, after killing a cop, was shot 12 times and killed by police. And a brother who was killed by drug dealers.
But as one report notes, even this didn’t make him go and burn down the block. Instead, he did exactly what he is asking us to do. He rose up the ranks to fight police brutality by becoming the chief at one of the largest police departments in the nation.
But back to telling it true.
The Chief put it down at a press conference at Dallas police headquarters. He spoke from the heart to reporters in attendance.
“To be quite honest, I’m running on fumes,” Brown said. “Many of you have asked for interviews. I’ve tried to nicely ignore you. I hope you understand that my brain is fried.”
And to protesters, especially those on the lines of the Black Lives Matter movement, he had a job offer.
“We’re hiring,” he said. “Get off of that protest line, and put your application in. We’ll put you in your neighborhood and help you solve the problems you’re protesting about.”
Now THAT’S keepin’ it real! No one has had the nerve to say this before.
“We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. Every societal failure we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding? Let the cops handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding? Let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas, we’ve got a loose dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail? Give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community’s being raised by single women? Let’s give it to the cops to solve that as well. That’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all those problems.”
Brown did see POTUS at Tuesday’s televised Memorial for the five slain police officers. President Barack Obama spoke admirably of Chief Brown’s efforts and at one point, Chief Brown came forward, in the middle of the president’s speech, to give the president a hearty handshake.
All the while, First Lady Michelle Obama just smiled. I felt as if she was saying, “I am SO proud of this Black man, too!”