Naomi Martin

In the worst of times, the faith that sustains Dallas Police Chief David Brown

In the worst of times, the faith that sustains Dallas Police Chief David Brown

Dallas Police Chief David Brown is a man of faith.

Even if you've followed the major media profiles of Brown in the wake of Thursday night's sniper ambush that claimed the lives of five officers in Dallas, you might have missed that.

Holy ghost, anyone?

With a notable, praiseworthy exception — and we'll get to that in a moment — the stories on Brown that I've seen have overlooked or downplayed the religion angle.

That's the case even with stories that are, otherwise, extremely compelling, such as this Washington Post piece highlighted by former GetReligionista Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

Yes, a quote in the Post profile cites Brown's "professionalism and faith," but that's as far as it goes.

Other stories leave out "faith" entirely:

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Crime Reporting 101: Into sad tale of murder, blood and drugs, enter God and forgiveness

Crime Reporting 101: Into sad tale of murder, blood and drugs, enter God and forgiveness

"Mother forgives son held in slaying," said the headline on a Metro cover story in The Dallas Morning News on Monday.

That title certainly raised my GetReligion antenna.

However, I was skeptical I'd find deep religion content in this police beat report, which appears online on the newspaper's Crime Blog:

Joyce Richardson turned the key and opened the door of Apartment 1705, as she did every day.
This time, though, her son and stepdaughter weren’t there. The night before, violence erupted. Now, one sat in jail; the other lay dead in the morgue.
Inside, Richardson closed the door. She noticed the silence. And the blood. Blood on the walls. Blood on the old brown couch and TV.
Bottles of alcohol. The bags of groceries she had brought a day earlier, still on the kitchen counter.

No religion there. But I kept reading. The very next paragraph:

She sat, prayed and cried.

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