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The Dallas police chief who inspired a nation with his response to the killing of five of his officers shares his personal story and his faith in America’s potential to unite communities through a dedication to transparency and trust.
On July 7, 2016, protesters marched in the streets of Dallas to demonstrate against the killings of unarmed black men by the police. As the peaceful event drew to a close, a sniper opened fire, targeting white cops and killing five of them. Into this charged situation stepped Dallas police chief David O. Brown, who, with a historic new tactical approach, quickly ended the gunman’s siege and calmed his community and the nation.
In this powerful memoir, Chief Brown takes us behind the scenes of that tragedy and shares intimate moments from his early life: his childhood, in which he was raised by a single mom in a neighborhood poor in resources but rich in love and faith; his college years—cut short when he felt called to save his hometown from its descent into drug-related violence; and, as he moved up the ranks, a series of deeply personal tragedies. His first partner on the job was killed in the line of duty; his younger brother was murdered by drug dealers; and during Brown’s first month as chief of police, his mentally ill son was killed by a cop after taking two other lives.
Called to Rise charts how, over his thirty-three-year career, Brown evolved from a “throw ’em in jail and let God sort ’em out” beat cop into a passionate advocate for community-oriented law enforcement, rising from crime scene investigator to S.W.A.T. team leader to the head of a municipal police department widely regarded as one of America’s finest. Now retired, “America’s chief” wants to bring his hard-earned knowledge of Dallas—emphasizing outreach, accountability, and inclusion—to help encourage unity in the nation’s hurting communities.
Chief Brown believes that we have to band together to engage in the kind of dialogue that can lead to solutions. In place of complaining, we all have to take action—and one first great step is to tune in to what is being said. Called to Rise explores the keys to that dialogue—trust, transparency, and compassion—that have made Brown a leader on the front lines of social change in America.