WATCH: Emotional Dallas Police Chief Quotes Stevie Wonder Lyrics at Memorial for His Five Slain Officers
Chief David Brown offered a breath of fresh air during the memorial service honoring slain officers.
The power of music.
During an interfaith memorial service for the five officers who were shot and killed last week Dallas Police Chief David Brown used lyrics from Stevie Wonder to comfort the families.
Explaining that he used the musician’s music to help him channel his own emotions when he was in love, Brown recited the lyrics of Wonder’s song “As” in front of a packed auditorium, which welcomed President Obama and the first lady Michelle Obama as well as Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden.
“So today, I’m going to pull out some Stevie Wonder for these families,” Brown said in a video captured by NBC News.
Brown continued, reciting a very poignant verse: “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 lifetimes and twice as double that God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed.”
“So make sure when you say you’re 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.”
Tuesday’s memorial service honored the five officers who lost their lives when a sniper opened fire at a protest against police brutality in Dallas on Thursday. Six other officers were injured in the shooting.
“We’re hurting. Our profession is hurting. We are heartbroken,” Brown said in a press conference the day after the shooting. “All I know is this must stop – this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”
While there’s still work to be done between police and the communities they serve, the sniper attack did bring together President Obama and former President George W. Bush, who both attended the memorial service and gave speeches.
“We see all this and it’s hard not to think sometimes that the center won’t hold. And that things might get worse. I understand how Americans are feeling. But, Dallas, I’m here to say we must reject such despair,” Obama said. “I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America. I know how far we’ve come against impossible odds.”