After deputies ambushed, Biden pushes gun control while President Trump pushes criminal control

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COMPTON, CA – Presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted his response to two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies being ambushed by a shooter in Compton. 

His statement, tweeted on Sunday morning, was a response to a CNN tweet:

“This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable and the perpetrator must be brought to justice. Violence of any kind is wrong; those who commit it should be caught and punished. Jill and I are keeping the deputies and their loved ones in our hearts and praying for a full recovery.”

His response was empathetic to the deputies and their families, but somewhat nondescript about discouraging the underlying anti-cop sentiment that emboldens the impulse to actually harm a law enforcement officer. 

In contrast, President Trump took a harder line against the shooter, and against all shooters who target police officers.  He issued a statement via twitter, responding to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department release of the shooting on surveillance video:

“Animals that must be hit hard!”

The President later retweeted his son, Donald Trump Jr.’s response to the same video release.  Adding new commentary on the retweet, the President called for a fast trial leading to the death penalty for the Compton shooter (if the deputies had died), to deter future cop shootings:

“If they die, fast trial death penalty for the killer. Only way to stop this!”

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department, issued a gracious statement on twitter to President Trump and former Vice President Biden.  He thanked them both for reaching out with words of support concerning the ambush and shooting:

“On behalf of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to both President Donald Trump [twitter handle substituted] and former Vice President Joe Biden [twitter handle substituted] for reaching out today and offering their kind words regarding the horrific ambush which our two brave deputies survived last night.”

Sheriff Villanueva also issued a general tweet showing his appreciation for setting partisan politics aside and showing support for the Sheriff’s Department, as well as for law enforcement departments across the county:

“Thank you for setting partisanship aside and showing your support for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department [twitter handle substituted] and all law enforcement across Los Angeles County [twitter handle substituted].”

President Trump indicated in a presidential campaign rally in Henderson, Nevada on Sunday, that he considers cop killers to be domestic terrorists.  He calls for such to receive the death penalty, automatically. 

His statement, which inspired an extended few moments of cheering and chants of “U.S.A.,” during the rally was:

“My plan is to arrest domestic terrorists, and we also believe that if you murder a police officer, you should receive the death penalty.  That’s something that’s very important.”

The President also doubled down on his earlier tweet, calling the shooter an animal.  After asking the crowd of supporters if they had seen the surveillance footage of the deputies being shot, he continued:

“He’s an animal, and I called him an animal, and I was criticized by people for calling him an animal. They said he’s a human being. He’s not a human being. He’s an animal…”

Former VP Biden’s official campaign website states that the democratic presidential nominee opposes the death penalty, and will seek to eliminate executions entirely at the federal level. 

The statement reads as follows:

Over 160 individuals who’ve been sentenced to death in this country since 1973 have later been exonerated. Because we cannot ensure we get death penalty cases right every time, Biden will work to pass legislation to eliminate the death penalty at the federal level, and incentivize states to follow the federal government’s example.

These individuals should instead serve life sentences without probation or parole.”

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While President Trump’s support of law enforcement has been consistent and unequivocal throughout his term, the Presidential nominee has often been critical of law enforcement, in contrast. 

In the wake of recent shootings involving police officers and suspects resisting arrest, former VP Biden has offered up comments that feed into a common misconception that police departments are racist by default. 

Growing anti-cop sentiment in minority communities can be stoked by feeding into such notions.

After the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI, the nominee tweeted his video commentary of the incident, and the rioting that followed. 

He also provided the following summary:

“Once again, a Black man — Jacob Blake — was shot by the police. In front of his children. It makes me sick. Is this the country we want to be? Needless violence won’t heal us. We need to end the violence — and peacefully come together to demand justice.”

Neither the tweet nor the video mentioned the fact that Blake fought off police officers (while tased), walked to the other side of his vehicle while ignoring police directives, opened the door of his car with his children inside, and reached for a weapon (endangering the children).

The former Vice president also once stated during a meeting in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, that if elected he would create a national police oversight board within his first 100 days in office. 

The purpose for the board, would be to address what he believes to be institutional racism in policing across the nation.

He suggested that the board could oversee new training directives that would require less lethal actions against perpetrators who do not have firearms.

As Law Enforcement Today reported previously, he said:

“Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person coming at ‘em with a knife or something, shoot ‘em in the leg instead of in the heart.” 

[Editor’s note: Mainstream media, such as CBSnews.com, has changed Biden’s quote to take out the fact that he said he considers someone with a knife to be “unarmed.” We have printed his exact quote here and previously.]

The nominee’s statement does not account for the fact that a leg shot may not necessarily stop a running or lunging assailant who is pumped up on adrenaline (or drugs) and/or is delirious.  It is also worth considering the fact that the appendages move faster than the center mass of a body in motion. Not to mention police are trained to shoot center mass because it’s most effective in stopping the threat.

Therefore, chances are greater that a shot would miss and strike something (or someone) behind the assailant.  Considerations (or lack thereof) such as these highlight the main problem with having untrained civilians oversee the training and operation of law enforcement departments and agencies.

Reactions tell quite a tale indeed.

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