DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – David Brown returned to the public spotlight on Wednesday night in the city that he loves and calls home. The former chief of the Dallas Police Department made an appearance at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas as a civilian and public speaker.
It was an emotional return for the city’s former top cop, as Brown spoke to a crowd of the people that he used to serve. He first started the evening not talking about his new memoir, but by recognizing a mother in the audience who had lost her son in the Dallas police ambush last year.
Brown asked the crowd, “Can we all stand and recognize Mrs. Zamarripa?”
But the former chief spent most of the night on stage detailing his most intimate moments, all included in his new book which is entitled “Called to Rise.” It was released earlier this week. “Before, I was very private,” Brown said. “And I was intentionally private because I’ve been grieving.”
Brown spoke about his son, who shot and killed a civilian and a police officer before he too was shot and killed. He also relived the July night last year, when he lost four of his Dallas officers and a DART officer when a shooter began targeting police after a protest downtown.
The former chief said that he does not regret using a robot to blow up shooter Micah Johnson that night. “I was not willing to lose a sixth or seventh officer, or eighth officer, trying to end the siege,” Brown said.
Among those in the audience on Wednesday was 90-year-old former Dallas Police Department detective Jim Leavelle. He too was in a law enforcement for a historic moment in Dallas history. He was handcuffed to JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald as Jack Ruby shot Oswald during transport.
Leavelle spoke about Brown’s work during the Dallas police ambush. “I thought he did a great job with handling the situation when the officers got shot, and I admire him for that,” Leavelle said.
Brown also did not shy away from the current climate involving controversial police shootings. He said that stereotypes only work to divide the community. “There are white cops, black cops and Hispanic cops that shouldn’t be cops,” he said. “So, this stereotype doesn’t work, no matter where you sit. I just happen to be black and blue.”