WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Friday, Dallas PD officers were house guests at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Police departments from around the nation gathered in the name of transparency at a meeting called by the White House and the Department of Justice.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown was there to talk about lessons learned on releasing information in the aftermath of a police shooting.
“I think when people believe you're being honest with them they trust you and that when something goes awry, they give you the benefit of the doubt," Chief Brown said.
Dallas PD learned that lesson the hard way after James Harper, who was unarmed, was shot by a Dallas cop back in 2012. Brown had to calm an angry crowd and the department promised to make changes.
“These citizens who need to trust us give us some of their tax money to pay our salaries," Brown said. "So if you want raises, you want to advocate for benefits, pension fixes, be attentive to the people that are going to spend their money to get that done.”
Chief Brown provided an unintentional break in the discussion when he said he'd gotten advice on social media about his plan to release more data publicly, “One person said, 'Don't release data.' I was about to say something to him on Twitter back and then he tweet, 'Rest in peace Prince,' and I left him alone.”
Late Friday, Dallas PD released an exhaustive amount a data on use of force by officers and there's some good news -- citizen and officer injuries have decreased in response to resistance incidents since 2014.
Here's hoping transparency leads to a better relationship between the Dallas community and officers who've been sworn to protect and serve.