‘It has to stop’: Black surgeon who has worked non-stop since Thursday to save cops shot in Dallas rampage holds back tears as he admits to fearing the police
- Brian Williams, staff surgeon at Parkland Hospital, helped save the lives of officers injured in the Dallas shooting
- Five cops were killed and seven were injured when Micah Johnson opened fire at a peaceful Black Lives Matters protest
- Williams helped save lives but understood the anger behind the protests
- The respected surgeon said he ‘fears for his safety’ when he sees police
- Williams insists that the killing on both sides ‘has has to stop’ as he says he is haunted by the cops he couldn’t save
A black surgeon who helped save the lives of police officers shot in the Dallas attacks said he understood the anger driving recent protests across the United States.
‘This killing, it has to stop. Black men dying, it has to stop,’ Brian Williams, staff surgeon at Parkland Hospital, which received the five officers killed and nine wounded when black veteran Micah Johnson opened fire at a peaceful protest on Thursday.
Johnson told police he was carrying out the horrific attack because he wanted to kill white people, ‘especially white officers’ in the wake of last week’s fatal shootings of black men by officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and outside St. Paul, Minnesota.
Brian Williams, staff surgeon at Parkland Hospital aid he could understood the anger driving recent protests across the United States.
Williams, who was part of a team of medical team who treated the wounded and dying officers, denounced the shooting and insisted that people of all races need to come together to ‘end all this.’
But he admitted that, as a black man in Texas, he felt conflicted.
‘I understand the anger and the frustration and distrust of law enforcement, but they are not the problem,’ he said as he fought to hold back tears.
‘The problem is open discussions about the impact of race relations in this country. And I think about it every day, that I was unable to save those cops when they came here that night. It weighs on my mind constantly.’
The doctor said that he sympathized with the fear felt by so many African Americans during encounters with white police officers, Fox News reports.
‘It’s much more complicated for me personally because it’s not just about that one night,’ Williams told a news conference on Monday. It’s about the racial undertones that affect all of this, so it began for me long before those cops came in the door that evening.’
Williams said he often tended to pay for police officers’ meals when he saw them dining in Dallas restaurants, to show his children he respects law enforcement.
‘This killing, it has to stop. Black men dying, it has to stop,’ Brian Williams, staff surgeon at Parkland Hospital, which received the five officers killed and nine wounded in Thursday night’s attack
Williams, staff surgeon at Parkland Hospital, was speaking at a press conference held today at the hospital in Dallas
But he added that as a black man: ‘I also personally feel and understand that angst that comes when you cross the path of an officer in uniform and fear for your safety.’
However, Williams did not let his own conflicted opinions get in the way of his work.
‘I want the Dallas Police to also see me, a black man, and understand that I support you, I will defend you and I will care for you,’ he said.
‘That doesn’t mean that I do not fear you. That doesn’t mean if you approach me, I will not immediately have a visceral reaction and start worrying for my personal safety. When those three police officers came through the door, those initial ones, not for a second did he think about anything that was going on or did it compromise him caring for them,’ Captain Dan Birbeck of the Dallas City Hospital District Police said at the same news conference. ‘That to me was very reassuring.’
Dr. Todd Minshall, the chief of surgical critical care at Parkland and a white colleague of Williams, said the reaction of staff to the injured officers went beyond race.
‘We don’t care what color you are, what race you are, what creed you are,’ Minshall said. ‘When you come here, we’ll treat you.’
The St. Paul killing occurred during a traffic stop allegedly over a broken headlight on the car of Philando Castile, 32.