(CBSNEWS) – David Brown, former chief of the Dallas Police Department, said Sunday that policing is a “people business” and not an “enforcement business.”

“If you take away people from this formula, you lose the very nature of what policing is supposed to be about,” Brown said. “We’re supposed to be protecting people.”

Speaking on “Face the Nation” one year after an attack on Dallas police killed five officers, Brown said that in the wake of the Dallas shooting and numerous officer-involved shootings of primarily black men, the conversation about the role of policing in the 21st century and communities of color remains divided.

“It seems that every time we see some progress take a step there are two steps we take back with another viral video or a court proceeding that didn’t end in the way that I think the public expected,” said Brown, who was chief of the Dallas police from 2010-2016.

Last July, police say a lone gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson, who was angry about a string of fatal police shootings involving black men, ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and wounding seven. The officers were guarding a peaceful demonstration against the killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. During the hours-long standoff, the gunman informed them he was targeting white officers.

When asked what he says to people who say that policeman seem to get off free from incendiary events, Brown said that officers are willing to sacrifice their lives for communities they serve, and that “they give their all.”


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