A black doctor who treated shooting victims of the Dallas attack that left five cops dead appeared on CNN and spoke of the relationship between the black community and the police force. Dr. Brian Williams teared up as he said, “I don’t understand why black men die in custody and they’re forgotten the next day. I don’t know why this has to be us against them. This is all really… it has to stop.”
The Huffington Post reports:
Dr. Williams was on duty at Parkland Hospital last Thursday when a sniper shot 14 people during a peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Seven officers were treated at the hospital. Three of them died.
Mostly white first responders sat on the panel while speaking at a news conference about the Dallas Ambush. As a black American and a doctor, he said the incident was “much more complicated” for him personally.
“There’s this dichotomy where I’m standing with law enforcement, but I also personally feel that angst that comes when you cross the path of an officer in uniform and you’re fearing for your safety,” Williams said. “I’ve been there, and I understand that.”
“I want Dallas police also to see me, a black man, and understand that I support you, I will defend you and I will care for you. That doesn’t mean that I do not fear you,” he said.
Williams pointed to the difficulty he’s faced seeing the endless spate of officer-involved shootings in recent years. Just last week, Alton Sterling was shot and killed outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile was fatally shot during a traffic stop in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Williams wholeheartedly condemned the gunman’s attack on police in Dallas, saying he didn’t “understand why people think its OK to kill police officers.” He also added, “I don’t understand why black men die in custody and they’re forgotten the next day.”
As for the Dallas attack, Williams said it changed him.
“It absolutely has changed me,” he said. “I’m certainly not the only African-American male in this country that feels the way I do towards law enforcement. But I work with them on a daily basis. They’re my colleagues. They’re my friends.”
“There are a lot of people talking at each other, talking over each other, trying to shout each other out, but I don’t see people truly listening to the other side, truly putting themselves in their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes” he continued. “And until we’re ready to do that, there probably will not be any truly substantive change.”
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) July 12, 2016
He’s not wrong. The dialogue in light of the public witnessing what appears to be two murders captured in separate videos has not gotten better. When someone says “Black Lives Matter,” conservatives inevitably respond with “All Lives Matter,” as if they, too, were just featured as victims in the videos. You can’t say All Lives Matter without accepting that Black Lives Matter, too.
“We are all in this together, we are all connected,” Williams said. “All this violence, all this hatred, all these disagreements, it impacts us all, whether you realize it or not.
“This is not the kind of world we want to leave our children. Something has to be done.”
Featured image via screen capture