Shortly after midnight on July 5, 2016, I was probably lying peacefully in my bed, sound asleep. Around that time in Baton Rouge, La., Alton Sterling was restrained on the ground with a gun pointed at his head. "I'll kill you, bitch" were among the last words officers directed toward him prior to his death. With race as a flash point, the cycle of violence escalated in Dallas two days later when our police were on the receiving end of an assassin's gun.
In Baton Rouge, an opaque accountability process and inexplicable outcome have allowed another group of officers to walk free inside a recurring nightmare that fuels anger, frustration and public distrust of law enforcement. However, I believe Dallas is uniquely positioned to serve as a model to the nation and change this narrative by turning this angst into positive action.
As the newly appointed chairman of the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board, I have agreed to help bridge the chasm of distrust between the Dallas Police Department and the citizens it serves. In working with DPD leadership, City Hall and community leaders, I see that the commitment to progress is undeniable. Now, the recently announced outcome of Alton Sterling's death serves as an unwelcome reminder for why our task is urgent.