A little more than a month after David Brown's last day with the Dallas Police Department, the public got its first glimpse of what the former chief will be doing next. On Wednesday, ABC News announced that Brown, who served 33 years with DPD, will be joining the network to provide commentary on economic inequality, policing, social justice and race relations.
ABC News President James Goldston said Brown's actions after Micah Johnson killed five Dallas cops in a July shooting secured his job. "On a terrible night in July, five officers in his department were killed by a lone gunman during a peaceful protest against law enforcement," Goldston said. "Chief Brown became a vital voice to help his community heal, and his leadership and his powerful voice have resonated throughout the nation."
Brown served as chief for six years and rose to national prominence after the shootings. “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country,” Brown said before an international scrum of media. “Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve.” Those words have been widely quoted by pundits, journalists and as a point of agreement during the vice presidential debates.
By early September, Brown was ready to retire. He said it wasn't about the shooting — if you let stress get to you, you'd want to quit everyday, Brown pointed out — but instead that he'd simply accomplished all that he'd wanted to as chief.
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In his retirement, Brown also spoke about the role of police in American society, paving the way, it turns out, for his job as a talking head for ABC. “The evidence is pretty clear that enforcement only and arresting your way out of crime has not worked in this country. Incarcerating a lot of people has not worked in this country as far as keeping us safer,” Brown said in September. “Community policing has made us a lot safer.”
Earlier this year, when the Observer asked Brown about what he'd do after his time as chief, he repeated something Don Stafford, Dallas' first black police chief, told him about retirement.
“Your commitment to Dallas doesn’t stop whenever you do leave, you know,” he said. “They’re going to pay you a pension and you owe this city something, so you’ve got to stay involved in making this city better because you owe them.”
Beyond his new gig at ABC, Brown's only other public commitment is to his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, where he is set to give a commencement speech in May. ABC didn't disclose the salary or terms of his new gig.