Dallas Police Chief David Brown held a press conference on the latest news in the aftermath of the deadly ambush against police officers dead on July 7. In all, nine officers were wounded. Five were killed. Out of the nine wounded, four were members of Dallas Police, Three were Dallas Area Rapid Transit officers, and the last two officers belonged to El Centro College.
Thirteen officers used force against the suspect, 11 used their firearms, with the remaining two using explosives. Right now, detectives reviewing over 300 statements to see which officers need to be brought back in for further interviews. The Dallas Police Department is working with federal authorities as to the meaning of “RB” that was inscribed on the walls in blood inside El Centro.
While this is a horrific incident, Chief Brown made sure to point out that the city has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. The data on the city’s crime rates dates back to the 1930s. In 2015, Dallas had the fourth lowest murder rate since 1930. In 2014, it had the second lowest homicide rate. Chief Brown credits success with community policing, as the city has one had, excluding this ambush, one shooting this year. In that shooting, the suspect was injured. There’s still 170 hours of body cam footage to download and review as well.
During the question and answer period, Chief Brown did highlight that the police need our help, and that they’re being asked to do too much concerning chasing loose dogs in the city, tackling the shortfalls due to a lack of funding in combating drug addiction, the shortfalls from lack of funds to help the mentally ill, and every other societal ill is being placed at the feet of law enforcement. These are societal issues that weren’t meant to be solved by police.
“Policing was never meant to solve all of those problems,” he said. “And I just ask for other parts of our democracy, along with the free press, to help us. To help us, and not put that burden all on law enforcement to resolve.”