Dallas police had taken steps to mend rift with minorities

From The Associated Press:

DALLAS (AP) — When Micah Johnson opened fire on Dallas police in an act of vengeance against white officers, he was attacking a department whose chief has been lauded across the country for taking bold steps to root out bad cops and repair relations with minorities.

Police Chief David Brown, a black man who pushed through the reforms despite resistance from the rank-and-file, boasted at a news conference Monday that crime, police shootings and excessive-force complaints against the department have all dropped dramatically on his watch.

“This is the best department in the country, and I’m proud to be associated with the men and women of the Dallas Police Department,” he said.

Johnson, a black Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, killed five officers in a sniper attack Thursday that he portrayed as payback for the fatal police shootings of black men last week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban Minneapolis. The attack ended with Johnson blown up by a bomb delivered by a police robot.

No evidence has come to light to suggest that the 25-year-old Johnson had a grudge specifically against the 3,400-officer Dallas Police Department.

“Dallas PD is paying the price for problems elsewhere around our country,” said Mohamed Elibiary, a former Texas-based Department of Homeland Security adviser.

Carlyle Holder, president of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, had been holding up the Dallas Police Department as an example of a law enforcement agency effectively addressing the problem of racial disparities in police work.

“That’s what made the killing of those officers so much harder to take,” he said.

Brown became chief in 2010, taking over a department that a generation ago had one of the highest rates …

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