Dr. Brian Williams, the on-duty ER surgeon who treated the victims of the ambush attack in Dallas, shared a simple message Monday: "This killing, it has to stop."
It was a powerful and emotional statement from Williams, three days after suspected shooter Micah X. Johnson opened fire at a Dallas Black Lives Matter protest dedicated to the two unarmed black men who were fatally shot by police earlier that week. The attack killed five police officers and injured seven others.
Black doctor who treated injured, dying cops in Dallas: "This killing, it has to stop." https://t.co/SQzttgobJj https://t.co/eDLwz7acBk— CNN (@CNN) July 11, 2016
"The preceding days of more black men dying at the hands of police officers affected me. I think the reasons are obvious," Williams said. "I fit that demographic of individuals. But I abhor what is being done to these officers, and I grieve with their families."
The night of the attack, Johnson told police his actions were motivated by the recent deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and that he was targeting white police officers in an act of retaliation.
Though he said he understood Johnson’s source of anger, Williams made a call for peaceful action.
"I understand the anger and the frustration and the distrust of law enforcement, but they are not the problem. The problem is the lack of open discussion about the impact of race relations in this country," Williams said.
"And I think about it every day, that I was unable to save those cops when they came in here that night. That weighs on my mind constantly. This killing, it has to stop. Black men dying, and being forgotten, people retaliating against the people that are sworn to defend us; we have to come together to end all this."