A partnership between the Dallas police chief and the pastor of First Baptist Church has triggered concern among some officers and community leaders.
Chief David Brown and Dr. Robert Jeffress announced a “Back the Blue” day at the church on April 17. They also agreed to a long-term partnership.
The strange move comes as the Dallas Police Association has mounted a vigorous campaign to get the Chief to resign.
“This is not just a one-day photo op with the Dallas Police Department,” Jeffress said. “This Sunday signals a beginning of an ongoing relationship with the Dallas Police Department.”
Some civil rights leaders question why Brown—who represents officers from different religions and sexual orientations—would stand with the First Baptist pastor, who has a history of controversial remarks about Islam and sexual orientation.
Jeffress has taken on various religions, calling the Catholic Church a “pagan” church and also offering criticism of Islam. “Here is a deep dark dirty secret of Islam,” he said previously. “It’s a religion that promotes pedophilia.”
The Baptist leader has spoken out against homosexuals, calling them “sinners,” and has also publicly endorsed Donald Trump for president.
Chief Brown will receive an award at Sunday’s Back the Blue ceremony. “It is such great timing for the church here at First Baptist Dallas, and what Dr. Jeffress is doing,” Brown said.