We mourn for our neighbors in Dallas. Our minds stumble at so many police officers ambushed, killed and wounded as they protected the rights of peaceful protestors. We’re humbled before the families of those who lost brave loved ones in this public service.
We know that Dallas will recover. It’s a strong city, and we’re proud to be its neighbors.
Dallas can be proud of these men. Their firm hand and professional leadership helped calm a terrible and frightening time.
It helped that one is black and one is white. Thursday’s protest march downtown was centered on race, on outrage at the killing of two black men by police elsewhere in America.
There was no divide between Rawlings and Brown, just one city they clearly intended to hold together by keeping residents and the rest of the world informed.
They had a serious job to do, but they leavened that seriousness with human emotion.
“We’re hurting,” Brown said at a news conference that ended shortly before 8 a.m. Friday. “Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken.”
He pivoted quickly back to firm as he addressed the national context.
“All I know is that this must stop,” he said. “This divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”
The state of the investigation at that time was still fluid. Brown expressed clearly what must have been the feelings of his entire 4,000-person department: “We’re not going to be satisfied until every lead is exhausted. So if there is someone out there who is associated with this, we will find you, and we will prosecute you and we will bring you to justice.”
Rawlings addressed the city’s role.
“We believe in the right to protest peacefully, and these were peaceful protests until this happened,” he said.
Brown asked for prayers, saying, “We don’t feel much support most days.”
He and his fellow officers heard the answer before the day was half gone. Thousands of people showed up for an interfaith prayer service for the shooting victims held at Thanks-Giving Square.