North Texas

DPD Officer Uses Music to Cope with Grief, Calls for Change

When a gunman ambushed Dallas police officers last week, Officer Charles Vaughn was too far away to do anything. As the funerals continue, Vaughn is mourning the loss of five officers and is doing so through song.

"This is my release, in the studio. This is how I cry out, and that's what we're hoping to get from this," Vaughn said before stepping to the microphone to belt out a verse from Let's Be that Change. "For officers, one of the hardest things to do is have them sit with counseling because we're geared to fix other people's problems."

The song is a collaboration between Vaughn and Dennis Dotson, a producer and retired Dallas police officer.

"Music is the universal language, right? Everybody speaks it. It doesn't matter what type of music it is," Dotson said. "If we can show the world that this officer is human. He's working for a system, but he is a human being when he goes out on the street."

"I think that showing that perspective is part of what I would consider a solution right now," Dotson said.

As black police officers, Vaughn and Dotson know that it is going to take a collective effort to ease racial tension between police and minority communities. Vaughn hopes his song can serve as a call to action to start that process.

"People talk about a change coming. Let's stop talking about and do something," he said.

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