>> We're hurting. Our profession is hurting, Dallas officers are hurting. All I know is, this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.>> Dallas police chief David Brown's passionate plea Friday coming at a time of rising tension, deep skepticism, and outright hostility between police and the communities they serve.
And there are signs the bitter climate has made it less appealing than ever to be a cop in America. Deceased Dallas sniper, Micah Johnson, allegedly telling officers before his death that the shootings were retaliation for police killings of black men. Two this week in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge.
Adding to a series of highly publicized deaths at the hands of police, including Freddie Grey in Baltimore and Michael Brown in Ferguson.>> The answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence. Rather, the answer, our answer, all our answer, must be action. Calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action.
>> The public outcry against aggressive policing not the only challenge for law enforcement. Cities across the US are also grappling with thinning numbers. A Reuters review of Baltimore, especially hard hit by violent protests and anger against the police. Finding the number of uniformed officers falling 6% last year and shrinking even further the first half of this year.
But in Dallas Friday morning, police chief Brown trying to highlight the heroic actions of officers who he says ran into the gunfire Thursday night to protect civilians.
So please join me in applauding these brave men and women who do this job under great scrutiny, under great vulnerability.
Who, literally, risk their lives to protect our democracy. We don't feel much support most days. Let's not make today most days.