DALLAS — A doctor who treated police officers shot in Dallas last week made an emotional plea at a press conference Monday, asking for an end to violence.
Parkland Memorial Hospital’s Dr. Brian H. Williams, who is black, said he stands with law enforcement but understands the distrust many black people in the United States have of police officers.
“This killing, it has to stop,” Williams said. “Black men dying and being forgotten. People retaliating against the people that are sworn to defend us. We have to come together and end all of this.”
Williams said he thinks every day about the officers he was unable to save after a gunman opened fire during a peaceful protest, killing five officers. Nine other officers and two civilians were also wounded. The protest was organized after police officers shot and killed two black men in separate incidents that were both captured in graphic videos.
“I abhor what has been done to these officers and grieve with their families. I understand the anger and the frustration and the distrust of law enforcement,” Williams said. “But they are not the problem. The problem is the lack of open discussions about the impact of race relations in this country.”
Williams said that he often picks up the check for members of law enforcement if he says them eating in the same restaurant.
“I want my daughter to see me interacting with police that way so she doesn’t grow up with the same burden that I carry, when it comes to interacting with law enforcement,” Williams said.
Read Dr. Williams’ full statement here:
“I want to state first and foremost — I stand with the Dallas Police Department. I stand with law enforcement all over this country. This experience has been very personal for me and a turning point in my life. There is the added dynamic of officers being shot. We routinely care for multiple gunshot victims … but the preceding days of more black men dying at the hands of police officers affected me. I think the reasons are obvious. I fit that demographic of individuals. But I abhor what has been done to these officers and grieve with their families. I understand the anger and the frustration and the distrust of law enforcement. But they are not the problem. The problem is the lack of open discussions about the impact of race relations in this country. And I think about it every day … that I was unable to save those cops when they came here that night. It weighs on my mind constantly. This killing, it has to stop. Black men dying and being forgotten, people retaliating against people sworn to defend us. We have to come together and end all this.”