Officials: At least 24 shots fired at officer in unmarked police car in “ambush style attack”

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Grand Rapids, MI – Police in Michigan are investigating a shooting in Grand Rapids. The incident, which happened much like an ambush, happened around 10:30 pm Wednesday night. 

An officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department was on the city’s southeast side working an investigation near Pleasant Street and Cass Avenue.

According to sources speaking with  the local NBC affiliate, News 8, that at least 24 shots were fired at the officer in an unmarked police car. The vehicle was struck multiple times. It is currently not know if there was a single shooter, or if there were multiple gunmen.

Thankfully the officer was not injured. He was able to find cover out of the line of fire.

The source also said that the officer did not return fire in the shooting. 

According to News 8:

“Police say they are not sure whether or not the assailants knew the person they were shooting at was a police officer.

GRPD is investigating and working to determine who the shooters were. Officers were in the area speaking to potential witnesses Thursday morning.” 

This type of “ambush” violence toward cops is nothing new and happens far too often (for the record, once is too often). Yesterday we shared the following story out of Boston. 

On Wednesday evening, officers from the Boston Police Department responded to the area of Humboldt Avenue and Crawford Street in Roxbury before 6PM for a report of a man walking with a firearm in a fanny pack. 

Upon arrival, the met a man matching the description who was carrying a fanny pack. 

Officers made contact and attempted to take hold of his hands, therefore preventing him from retrieving a firearm and avoiding a deadly force situation.

But the suspect, 44-year-old Jermaine Thomas had different plans. 

Mr. Thomas, according to police, grabbed back at the officers and a physical confrontation ensued.  As the confrontation continued, bystanders in the crowd began to close in the officers who were now physically fighting a man, trying to prevent him from arming himself with a gun and shooting them or the bystanders. 

As the crowd became hostile toward the police, the ones who were trying to prevent a shooting, fire hydrants were opened, causing a heavy flow of water to rush toward them. 

Regardless of the level of resistance they faced, the officers were able to remain calm and take Mr. Thomas into custody. 

As they were placing him into a police vehicle, persons from the crowd began to dump water on the officers from buckets. 

Thankfully, the officers were able to subdue Mr. Thomas, who had a loaded firearm in the fanny pack, take him into custody, and leave the scene without anyone getting hurt.

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross stated:

“I’m alarmed by the level of hostility my officers had to face while arresting a felon armed with an illegal firearm.

They were attacked by members of the very same community they were attempting to protect by affecting this arrest.  Public safety is a shared responsibility, we need to continue to work together, not in opposition towards one another, to achieve that goal.” 

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Thankfully, this incident ended the way it should, the suspect in jail and the officers returning to the streets to continue patrolling. 

However, incidents like these do not often end this way and the frequency in which they are occurring is becoming less and less.  On Saturday night, a similar incident ended much differently in Tampa, Florida.

Officers from the Tampa Police Department were called for a reported shooting with a subject down.  Upon their arrival, they quickly learned that there was no shooting and no victim, only a hostile crowd there waiting to attack them. 

The crowd, estimated to be over one hundred, quickly circled the officers and began throwing glass bottles at them.  Officers from all over the Tampa area had to respond in efforts to rescue the officers and disperse the crowd, leaving the rest of Tampa unprotected during this incident. 

Thankfully, only two officers were injured during the melee. 

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan held a news conference in which he explained the frustration he and his officers face in the light of current events.  Chief Dugan states:

“The police, we always have everybody’s back and nobody has our back,” he said. “Right now the officers feel like they can’t win. And I would have to agree with them.” 

The Chief continued:

“Police are in a very tough spot — if we show up to people who are just merely exercising their First Amendment rights, it turns into a clash and police are the bad guys,” he said. “But we also now have people who are complaining about the lack of a police presence at these protests.”

Chief Dugan and his officers frustrations are the same many officers face throughout the United States right now.  Officers are not wanted until there is a problem, and once they get there to solve the problem, they are getting cussed at, spit at, or worse. 

Morale amongst officers is getting extremely dangerous which could lead to lower work product (proactive policing to prevent crimes), unethical behavior, or a mass exodus of good officers from law enforcement. 

While protestors falsely scream that black Americans are being hunted down and killed in the streets, the reality is that law enforcement are the ones that have traps being set and ambushes carried out. 

It is absolutely true that people are being hunted down and attacked violently. They are called cops. And it needs to stop. 

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