Dallas police chief David Brown held a candid press conference yesterday. The video above is a remarkable excerpt in which he says:
I’m a person of faith. I believe [the fact that] I’m able to stand here and discuss this with you is a testament to God’s grace and his sweet tender mercy. Just to be quite honest with you…
We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. We’re just asking us to do too much. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding? Let the cops handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding? Let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas we got a loose-dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail? Give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women. Let’s give it to the cops to solve that, as well. That’s too much to ask.
He is absolutely right about this. We need the police. We need them big time. But the biggest problems we face as a society cannot be solved by better policing. Mental health? Fatherlessness? Drug Addiction? Failing schools? The police can punish public vice, but they cannot cultivate consciences. They cannot form character. They cannot create the culture of virtue necessary for the flourishing of a free people. The sword of Caesar is powerful, but not that powerful–not by a mile.
No the biggest problems we face are fundamentally spiritual in nature. If we fail to see that, we fail to see things as they are.