[Monday, July 11, 2016]
“So, just going back to my government class in high school… They teach us there’s three branches of government, right? Legislative, judicial and executive. We’re a local democracy here in Dallas, and our council has a role. But there’s a greater role in policy making, and folks just need to do their job! There’s too many things we all agree on, on both sides of the aisle, that we hadn’t gotten done!
And we just need to get it done. And quit asking cops to chime in and do it for you. We got a full plate! The policy-making, the laws being passed. That’s THEIR job. And all they need to do is do it so that we can be safer in this country!
And the issues have been long-discussed. I can’t stand watching cable news anymore, where it’s discussed forever, and it’s not getting to a place where we do anything! And that’s the frustration for police officers. It’s that we all know what needs to be done that we agree on – let’s get THAT done just to say we did something to help everyone.
… Do something on guns. I was asked ‘Well, what’s your opinion about guns?’ Well, ask the policymakers to do something and I’ll give you an opinion. Put a law out there and I’ll give you an opinion about it. Have me do that job? I’ll pass on that. Get in that debate and get swallowed up by both sides, who are entrenched in their positions? I want no part of that! Do your job. We’re doin’ ours! We’re puttin’ our lives on the line! Yeah the government needs to step up and help us!”
— Dallas Police Chief David Brown
On Friday Night, July 8, 2016, #BlackLivesMatter once again mobilized in protest of two police killings of two black men, Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, LA., and Philando Castile of Saint Paul, MN. Both were killed as soon as the police found a firearm on them, and video was captured of the incidents. What individual black people saw was something that happens a lot more, per individual: getting killed by the law. Documented fact.*
As part of a Dallas PD mission improve relations with communities of color, Dallas officers did more than just stand in riot gear with stone faces and watch #BlackLivesMatter chant. They wore regular police offer clothing, met the demonstrators, wanted to hear their story, even posed with them for pictures, and participated – carrying signs. As cheerful images of cops and protesters went up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the Dallas police tweeted updates about the rally. Where to park, what streets are closed, where the marchers were heading.
Just then, a heavily armed black man showed up and ambushed the police on scene, sniping at them from a distance and moving forward, killing with accuracy, 9 officers down, five dead, Brent Thompson, Lorne Ahrens, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael J. Smith, and Michael Krol, who gave their lives being the first to face the killer. Unable to get the sniper to come out of his position, a police bomb-defusing robot was equipped with a bomb and sent toward the sniper’s position and detonated.
So, to sum it all up, two black men last week were killed for carrying pistols they didn’t intend to use on the police but carried around for protection and 5 officers were slain by a black man who carried his firearms downtown, intending to kill cops.
Which gets us to Chief Brown, who said today he didn’t want to wander into the gun debate and get swallowed up. But wander into it he did. He said he saw two entrenched sides of a cable news gun debate that goes around in circles and never gets anywhere. He didn’t elaborate on the two sides he meant, but I can think of two. They are #DoSomething and #DoNothing. The Chief said he refused to take a side, but in his boiling frustration and head shaking, he let it out.
And what he said, why didn’t anybody else think of that? The Chief just asked for a #DoSomethingCongress!
Under our system of government, who is responsible for the Congress we get? It seems they know who they are, and they seem to know what kind of Congress they want. They get polled. The majority of both major political parties’ registered voters want a #DoSomethingCongress.
And what do registered voters have to do to #GetItDone?
The Chief said it. “Do Your Job!” The voters have to do their job, and Chief Brown, he’ll do his.
* “Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks” NY Times, July 7, 2016
* The Fallen: 5 Officers Slain In Dallas Shooting Shared Common Passion To Serve Patch, July 11, 2016