The Faith of Chief Brown Inspires a Nation

Top cop in Dallas relies on power of prayer to weather his fiercest storm

by Elisa Cipollone | Updated 12 Jul 2016 at 11:31 PM

The past five days in the life of Police Chief David Brown will likely be the toughest he’ll ever face.

Chief Brown has had the eyes of the nation on him since a murderous rampage left five police officers dead on his city’s streets. The chief has spoken at press conferences, on the news, at the initial vigil for the fallen the day after the attack — and during all of these moments, he has leaned publicly on his faith in God and the power of prayer.

“I believe that I’m able to stand here and discuss this with you is a testament to God’s grace and his sweet, tender mercy.”

On Tuesday night, Chief Brown gave perhaps his most difficult speech of all — a eulogy for the five fallen officers during a candlelight service of remembrance. He talked about the heroism of the five — even making an analogy to Superman — but then he turned to scripture.

“Oh death, where is your sting? Oh grave, where is your victory?” Chief Brown quoted from 1 Corinthians 15:55, speaking of Jesus’ glorious resurrection.

While the chief has been thrust into the limelight, and into the center of a national debate, he has handled himself with aplomb. On Tuesday, Chief Brown addressed the press and told them how he manages to keep going.

"I'm a person of faith," he said. "I believe that I'm able to stand here and discuss this with you is a testament to God's grace and his sweet, tender mercy."

"We're asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. We're just asking us to do too much," he said. "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."

Chief Brown also spoke of his faith when he sat down for an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.

"I am a servant. And at my core, I enjoy serving people, and I am a person of faith. I am a Christian, and I believe that service is part of my direction, and loving people, despite themselves, is something I aspire to be," he said.

Related: Dallas Mayor: 'We Need Prayers'

Brown has also shown considerable humility in the wake of the tragedy, focusing at all times on the fallen and the ultimate sacrifice they made for the safety of citizens on the streets of Dallas that night.

"I am flawed, though, like many of us — but I can tell you right now, you know, I'm not going to have a long conversation about me on this broadcast or any others. This is going to be about the men and women in blue who sacrifice their lives every day and these families planning four funerals," Brown said to Tapper.

"They're brave. They're courageous. They did things that day that are just hard to describe. We're learning that officers exposed themselves to draw fire, so they could determine what floor this suspect was on, exposed themselves," Brown said. "And you saw footage of officers running toward gunfire, extraordinary acts of bravery, countless officers returning fire, knowing that they're vulnerable to try to get to wounded and injured citizens and officers to get them rushed to the hospital to try to save their lives, and just the brave men and women who have worked every day."

More, the chief finds inspiration for his faith in everyday life — and especially what happened the day after the Dallas massacre.

"The day after this incident occurred, I look at the daily rolls to see who comes to work. Everyone came to work the next day. Who does that, Jake? In the face of their lives being at stake the previous day, you would think you would have some call in and say, 'Maybe that's not for me.' Everyone came to work that next day," Brown said.

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