Dallas Police Chief David Brown paid tribute to the city’s slain officers during a Tuesday, July 12, memorial service by reciting lyrics from Stevie Wonder’s 1977 hit “As.”
"When I was a teenager and started liking girls, I could never find the right words to express myself," Brown told the crowd, which included President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and former POTUS George W. Bush. "And after a couple of words, they would just walk away leaving me figuring out, 'What do I need to do to get a date?' So being a music fan of 1970s rhythm-and-blues love songs, I put together a strategy to recite the lyrics to get a date."
"For girls I liked, I would pull out some Al Green or some Teddy Pendergrass," he continued. But if he fell in love, "I had to dig down deep and get some Stevie Wonder, to fully express the love I had."
"So today, I'm going to pull out some Stevie Wonder for these families," he said.
"Families, close your eyes and just imagine me back in 1974 with an Afro and some bell-bottoms and wide collar," Brown said before quoting “As”:
'We all know sometimes life's hate and troubles can make you wish you were born in another time and place. But you can bet your life times that, and twice its double, that god knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed. So make sure when you say you're not in it, but not of it, you're not helping to make this Earth a place sometimes called hell. Change your words into truth and then change that truth into love. And maybe your children's grandchildren and their great great grandchildren will tell them I'll be loving you. Until the rainbow burns the stars out of the sky, I'll be loving you.
'Until the ocean covers every mountain high, I'll be loving you. Until the dolphin flies and the parrots live at the sea. I'll be loving you. Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream, I'll be loving you. Until the day is night and night becomes the day, I'll be loving you.'
… I'll be loving you always. And there's no greater love than this. That these five men gave their lives for all of us.”
As previously reported, snipers shot 12 police officers and two civilians in downtown Dallas Thursday night during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. Five of the law enforcement officials who were shot died. Those individuals were Brent Thompson, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarripa, Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith.
At the event, Obama, 54, hailed the five slain officers as heroes. "When bullets started to fly … they did not flinch," he said at the interfaith memorial service honoring the officers killed. "In some cases, helped by protesters, they … saved more lives than we will ever know."
According to the Los Angeles Times, one suspect — who was killed during a shootout with police — has been identified as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson. During negotiations with police, he said that his motive for the attack was to “kill white officers” after the recent deaths of two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were both shot and killed by policemen this month.
In a Sunday, July 10, interview with The Blaze, Johnson’s mother, Delphine, said he became a “hermit” after he was discharged from the United States Army in 2015.
“The military was not what Micah thought it would be,” Delphine explained. “He was very disappointed, very disappointed. But it may be that the ideal that he thought of our government, of what he thought the military represented, it just didn’t live up to his expectation.”
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