Dallas Police Chief David Brown has been on the job for 98 days.
So far, it's been a tenure filled with tragedy and controversy, as well as success. After only seven weeks in the top job, he was hit with a personal tragedy and professional challenge like no other.
Brown spoke in an exclusive interview in which no subject was off-limits. Below are clips from the one-on-one interview without any edits:
- Chief Brown on What He Has Learned
- Chief Brown on His Most Adverse Time
- Chief Brown on His Relationship with His Son
- Chief Brown on His Regrets
- Chief Brown on Learning About His Son's Death
- Chief Brown on the Funeral Escort
- Chief Brown on Privacy
- Chief Brown on His Faith
- Chief Brown on Community Support
- Chief Brown on His Biggest Success
- Chief Brown on Cutting Crime
- Chief Brown on Needing a Department Shakeup
- Chief Brown on Police Work Being a Calling
- Chief Brown on What People Should Know About Him
It was Fathers Day. Brown said he was supposed to have dinner with his son that night but never heard from him.
"The later it got, the more worried I got, and then, finally, one of my relatives called and said, 'That looks like his car on the news,'" he said.
Autopsy results later revealed that his son, David Brown Jr., had PCP, marijuana and alcohol in his system when he went on a shooting rampage, killing new father Jeremy McMillan and responding Lancaster police Officer Craig Shaw.
Officers were called to Brown Jr.'s apartment twice that day. The first time, Lancaster's police chief left David Brown Sr. a voicemail as a courtesy.
"The chief in Lancaster tried to call me," he said. "I was at church, and I never answer my phone when I'm in church. When I got out of church, I listened to the voicemail."
Brown never returned the call.
"Because of the circumstances, I did not want to return the call, because I didn't want to have any influence over Lancaster making a decision about my son because of my conversation with their chief," he said.
It's a decision that will haunt the 49-year-old husband, father and police chief for the rest of his life.
"I regret that he, Officer Shaw, is deceased at the hands of my son," he said. "I regret Mr. McMillan is deceased at the hands of my son. I regret that my son had to lose his life in a violent shooting. Yes, I regret all of it."
Brown credits his Christian faith and the support of the community for giving him the strength to return to work.
"I don't know where you draw the lines on the Bible Belt, but here in Dallas, but the prayers from citizens have just been enormous for me and my family," he said.
As for critics who have questioned if Brown is still fit to lead the force of 3,600, Brown had this to say: "Watch and see. I'm performing now, and I suspect that I will be successful."
Since Brown was sworn in on May 4, overall crime in the city has gone down every month when compared to last year. As of Tuesday, it's down 7 percent, and the homicide rate is at a historic low.
"There are bright days ahead for this department, and I don't expect the tragedy in Lancaster to deter us from being successful," Brown said.
When asked about the controversial motorcade that was ordered to escort his son's funeral procession, Brown said he had no knowledge of the order at the time.
"I remember closing my son's casket in the church, I remember sitting at the burial site, and everything else is a blur," he said.
Brown said he welcomes an investigation into the matter.