In the wake of the Dallas slaughter, community and civic leaders, especially the exceptional Dallas Chief of Police David Brown, provided first decisive then reassuring and unifying leadership.
Chief Brown gets credit for decisive leadership in crisis: He saw good men murdered in a sophisticated ambush. The sniper occupied a fortified position and promised to fight to the death. So Chief Brown gave the order to kill the sniper using a bomb delivered by an unmanned ground vehicle. No more good guys were at risk. The bomb limited collateral damage—Dallas wouldn’t repeat Philadelphia’s 1985 mistake when a police helicopter dropped a bomb on a bunkered position occupied by an armed black militants shooting at police. The bomb caused a fire and destroyed over 60 homes.
In Ferguson 2014 and Baltimore 2015, violence continued unabated.
Leaders in Ferguson and Baltimore were confused, lacked decisiveness and feared their own people. They also feared the accusation of racism and fascism from radical activists. If anything, they magnified a highly questionable yet fashionable media narrative, that police in America kill young black American men at statistically heinous rates. (They don’t, but major media have been slow to recognize the fact.)
In Dallas, however, there is sadness, not riot. The language of Dallas’ civic leaders has been somber and reflective. A somber, reflective peace has settled on Dallas.
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