David Brown, Dallas Police Chief: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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David Brown has served on the police force in Dallas, Texas for 36 years. (Twitter/David Brown)

In the aftermath of the deadly police shooting in Dallas, many are offering praise for Police Chief David Brown for the way he has handled the chaotic situation.

“Our profession is hurting,” Brown said this morning. “Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

David Brown has been with the Dallas Police Department since 1983, being promoted to police chief in April 2010. Those who have worked with him have said he is a tough but good boss, and he has a reputation for being transparent with the media and for being quick to discipline bad cops.

Here’s everything you need to know about Police Chief David Brown.


1. He Is Married To a Former Dallas Police Sergeant

Brown has been married to former Dallas police sergeant Cedonia Brown since 1996. She retired from the department when her husband was promoted to chief, and she now works for the Dallas water department, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Brown was previously married to a woman who he met while going to high school at South Oak Cliff.

He and his wife have a 10-year-old daughter, who Brown says he often watches Nickelodeon with. And though Brown is regularly praised for the fine work he does for Dallas, Texas, he says his daughter only sees him as her dad.

“She wants me to do some of the same things that I’ve been doing, which is basically spend time with her and play with her and be her father,” Brown said. “I’m not a big deal to her other than her daddy.”


2. His Son Killed a Police Officer in 2010 & Was Then Gunned Down in a Shootout

In 2010, David Brown’s 27-year-old son, David Brown Jr., shot and killed a 23-year-old man and a 37-year-old police officer in Lancester, Texas, according to ABC News.

Brown Jr. suffered from bipolar disorder, and the Dallas County medical examiner later said they found PCP in the man’s system. He had told his girlfriend that he thought his father was against him and that the whole world hated him. He also told his girlfriend he was hearing voices, and he had reportedly stopped taking his medication shortly before the shooting.

Brown Jr. died in a shootout with officers. Soon after, Brown Sr. visited the family of those his son had killed.

“He was sorry that his son had hurt so many people,” Lancaster Police Chief Keith Humphrey said. “He met with them as David Brown, not Chief Brown. He took that away. It was David Brown the person and David Brown the father.”

Those who work with Brown Sr. said he handled the situation admirably.


3. His Brother & His Partner Were Both Killed in Shootings

Losing his son was not even the only tragedy Brown has suffered during his time as a police officer.

In August 1988, when Brown was working in the physical evidence section in Dallas, he responded to a shooting in Oak Cliff. The word was that a cop had been shot and was in grave condition. When he arrived, he saw a pair of glasses on the ground and recognized them as belonging to his former partner, Walter Williams.

Hours after the shooting, Williams died in the hospital. The 47-year-old was married with three kids.

“When things like that happen and you’re really close, you don’t believe it for the longest time,” Brown said. “I really relate to all of those in-the-line-of-duty deaths [on a] much more personal level…you lose a partner, you just never get over it.”

One of Brown’s classmates at the police academy told the Dallas Morning News that the death of Walter has stayed with Brown ever since.

Just three years after the death of his partner, Brown’s brother was killed in Phoenix by drug dealers. Brown says that now when he speaks to families of victims, he truly knows what they’re going through.


4. He Has Fired Several Violent Police Officers & Has Faced Criticism From Some of His Officers as a Result

David Brown has also been applauded for the way he handled an incident involving police officers assaulting a man and attempting to cover it up.

In September 2010, three officers were caught on video beating a motorcyclist named Andrew Collins, with one being accused of attempting a cover-up. Not only did Brown fire the officers, but he also released the footage to the public, as he is a believer in transparency.

A few months later, another officer was caught on video using pepper spray on a man who was constrained by handcuffs. This man was also fired. In both cases, Brown held press conferences and was as open as possible about the entire process.


5. He Encouraged the Use of Police Body Cameras & Has Been Heralded for His Reform Efforts

In another example of Brown’s attempt to make police as transparent as possible, last year, David Brown’s department put 200 police body cameras into use. He said at the time that he hoped to expand this number to at least 1,000 when the cameras become less expensive.

Brown decided that the first cameras purchased would be placed on officers who have previously been disciplined but who have not yet been fired, according to the Dallas Morning News.

“This is the most dramatic reform effort in policing in our country since the ’60s because of the controversies around these police-involved shootings,” Brown said.

He did say at the time, however, that he was worried that officers would be criticized for not turning on the cameras during tense situations.

39 Comments

39 Comments

Donna Miranda

As a resident in Cleveland Ohio for 35 years,I cannot tell you how many times I have been robbed and harassed by drug addicts.I am white and I was only robbed or harassed by white men.I could have a police officer at my home in a heartbeat.I feel your pain and am tired of people trashing the police.Will pray for your city and every time I see a policeman,I thank them for their service.Also must acknowledge what you have gone through in your personal life,and accomplished all you have

Johnny

Very sad that we can’t bring back slavery and put these negroes back into the filth that they look like.

Jeff

Johnny is obviously a sick I individual. Let’s hope he gets the help he needs.

Joyce A Higgins

Yes Johnny, if I was still a slave I would be grinding up glass to put in your food. You are one hateful critter and definitely a part of the problem. Crawl back in your hole.

Ki

Don’t even sweat him. It’s probably a lil kid anyway. Kids do foolish things often. Adults do too though huh? Sheeesh. Smh

Anthony

Well Johnny, you are right I wish we could go back to Slavery, so we can pick cotton for Masa, your kind still exist today, its call the white racist system of the old guard, while you white rapist and murderers got this process started call racism and hate for last 500 yrs, your people have perfected this art and became quite wealthy from our broken backs, your people don’t believe there a God you proved that during Slavery and after. White Power thats all you can see Johnny, I understand who you are, you are the reason we are in this mess today, its call white denial.

Lynn

Johnny you are a disgusting excuse for a human being. Delete yourself.

Ki

You’re a brave one. Hiding behind an adjective.
Pfff. Probably a child who bullies other smaller kids on recess. If you only knew. I think I’ll call your parents, or I mean ur grandma. LMAO. Come on now kid, apparently you don’t realize how EASY IT IS to get an IP address! Uhhh oh. Someone in trooubbblle. HeHehe. You made my day! Thnx. Oops

Ki

You are ..well you’re a little tiny nobody that noone even cares about and you’re poor lil bitchy butt hurt. Awwwe. Are you gonna be okay? Well I for one hope NOT. Waaawaaa. Oops. Oh well. Hey the broom is a great fit for foolish follies. But you should fly away on it now, do the world a favor. Lol boooo joooooon.
You’re a waste of air and space. Maybe put yourself on ice for the rest of ever!
Ahaaa. Move along

Ki

And by the John boy Walton, I’m white. And no one here cares for your poor behavior. You are will always be the odd man out because we’ll all be banding together and moving forward and helping each other along the way. And YOU are gonna be left behind, all by your lil lonesome. And understand this now- no one will be doing a 180° for you. MAYBE if your attitude has done a 180°, only…Mayyybe. don’t hold your breath.
Now shoooo you pesky fly, quit trying to BUG everyone.
From Me, I’m Ki, and I approve this message! Kick rocks

Ki

Chief David Brown is a great role model. For ALL people. I could tell there’s something very different about him. What a testimony his life has been, and continues to be — through all the tragedy and triumph too. He is a hard act to follow! (Just an old expression, a compliment of course)
Be good to each other and God bless us, all good people. So sorry for all who are no longer here (sigh, tears..)
No words.
Just…I am so sorry.
@}>,-‘—-

Molly

I think this comment should be removed. It is despicable.

Ki

Well I don’t think you mean MINE, right?
I hope not. I couldn’t care less if I offended that one foolish little creature!
Yep. That’s right! I’m Ki, I approve this comment.

Curtis Boswell

Sad….SAD, little race-troll. You, and everyone LIKE you…are everything that has become wrong, with the world today. Your pathetic little sentence, positively REEKS.,..of ignorance, stupidity, and an overall lack of forethought. It’s very sad, that your parents couldn’t be bothered, with the use of a condom….or the morning after pill.

Anne

People like you should be forced to work 16 hours a day in the cotton fields for the rest of your life because there is no chance you will become a human being.

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