Dallas Surgeon Delivers Poignant Message About Defending Police, But Also Fearing Them

Dr. Brian Williams gave emotional statement about standing by Dallas officers.

— -- The trauma surgeon who treated seven injured Dallas police officers gave an emotional interview today about how his experiences as a black man have complicated the emotional impact of the shooting that killed five police officers.

"Talking about the emotional impact -- it’s much more complicated for me personally," Williams said. "It’s not just about the one night, it’s about the racial undertones that affect, impact all of this. It began for me much longer than those cops who came through the door."

Williams started out speaking during today's news conference about the need for people to come together to stop violence and the deaths. But he also said he understood the fear of dealing with police officers.

"There’s this dichotomy where I am standing with law enforcement. But I also personally feel and understand the angst when you cross the paths of an officer in uniform and you’re fearing for your safety," Williams said. "I’ve been there and I understand that. But for me that does not condone disrespecting and killing police officers."

When asked how he handles this with his daughter, he said he makes a point of picking up the tab for officers when he sees Dallas police officers out at a restaurant.

"I want my daughter to see me interacting with police that way so she doesn’t grow up with the same burden I carry when it comes to interacting with law enforcement," he said.

He said his goal is to have more interactions so that police can understand his perspective of these interactions.

"I also want the Dallas PD to see me, a black man, and understand that I support you, I will defend you and I will care for you," Williams said. "That doesn’t mean that I do not fear you."

Dan Birbeck, the captain of the Parkland Hospital Police Department, was also at today's news conference and commended Williams for his work to save the officers in the emergency room.

"Not for a second did he think about anything else that was going on," Birbeck said.

Sitting next to Williams at the news conference was Dr. Alex Eastman, a trauma surgeon who is also a lieutenant at the Dallas Police Department. He said the events of the past week have helped bring him and Williams closer together as friends.

"I’ve watch us all struggle through this," Eastman said. "Brian and I have had some very long hugs and beginning of some very challenging conversations about how we move forward from here."