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David Brown, Dallas police chief, announces retirement

HOUSTON — Eight weeks after five officers were killed in an ambush in downtown Dallas, David Brown, the Dallas police chief, announced his retirement from the department Thursday.

In a statement, Brown described his retirement, effective Oct. 22, as a "difficult decision" and noted his department's response to the deadly attack on July 7. A gunman, Micah Johnson, 25, a former Army reservist, targeted and gunned down officers as they escorted demonstrators protesting fatal police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. It was the deadliest attack on law enforcement in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

"Let's always remember the fallen officers, including the five officers on July 7, 2016, and the brave men and women of the Dallas Police Department for their sacrifices to keep Dallas safe," the chief wrote in the statement. "Their memory will remain with all of us forever. I know the people of Dallas will never forget the ultimate sacrifice they made on the streets of our city that awful night."

Brown, who has been with the department for 33 years, did not give a specific reason for his retirement or discuss his plans for the future.

After the attack in July, Brown became the national face of urban policing. As an African-American police chief at a time of heightened racial tensions between police officers and black communities, the chief used the spotlight that fell on Dallas to illuminate the sacrifices and challenges of modern-day policing.