California – Police are looking for the suspect who allegedly opened fire in a targeted, unprovoked attack on a California deputy’s life.
According to a report from the Mercury News, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Sukhdeep Gill was on patrol Friday evening when he encountered his brush with death.
Officials say that Gill was patrolling the Uvas Reservoir area when he got out of his cruiser to look around. Gill says that as he was outside his SUV, he noticed a car approaching his position.
But as the car drew closer, all of a sudden the headlights cut off. The next thing he knew, Gill was taking fire. According to reports, the gunman fired four shots, with one of the rounds striking the deputy in the chest.
In an incredible stroke of luck, the bullet struck Gill’s body cam, which was backed by his body armor, preventing the round from entering his chest and potentially killing him.
Reacting quickly, Gill reportedly squeezed off two rounds from his service weapon before calling, “Shots fired! Shots fired!” over the radio.
Dispatchers say the next few minutes only brought silence from Gill’s end of the radio, prompting authorities to fear the worst. But the deputy had reportedly stumbled and fallen down an embankment during the shootout. After a few moments, they say he was able to climb his way back up to the road and made contact with the station again.
“I think I was hit,” Gill can be heard saying.
We can confirm a deputy has sustained a non-life threatening injury. This is still an active scene. Please stay away from the area. More details to follow.
— SantaClaraCoSheriff (@SCCoSheriff) February 1, 2020
Gill was transported to the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. His department says he’s lucky to be alive, and if it wasn’t for the body cam and vest, the encounter might’ve been his last.
Sheriff Laurie Smith described the shooting as an “unprovoked attack” during a press conference.
“It was an ambush,” Smith said. “Any one of those rounds could have hit him anywhere. He was very brave under fire.”
During the press briefing, Smith showed an image of the wounded deputy’s body-worn camera. It clearly shows the point of impact from the fired round – almost dead center.
Another photo showed what appeared to be three additional bullet holes in the rear of his squad car.
Gill considers himself extremely lucky to be walking away from the incident relatively unharmed.
“This was absolutely a close call,” Lt. Brendan Omori said. “This was a targeted attack.”
Police are still desperately looking for the suspect who attempted to take the deputy’s life in the targeted shooting. While they have no suspects, their strongest lead is a description of the vehicle, which was described as a silver 2000s-era sedan, most likely a Honda.
They’re asking anyone with any information to contact the sheriff’s office.
“We’ll follow up every lead,” Smith said. “We want to bring the person or persons to justice.”
Deputy Gill is now home recovering with his family at his side. It’s not clear whether or not his return fire struck the suspect or their vehicle.
“Given the gravity of the situation, he’s doing quite well,” he said.
Officials say once the suspect is apprehended, they will face premeditated attempted murder charges. Additionally, investigators are looking into whether the attack was motivated by hate, as Gill is a practicing Sikh and wears a turban.
“We support him, and our department supports him,” Omori said. “It’s unknown whether it’s a hate crime or a crime of opportunity against law enforcement.”
Mercury News wrote that anyone with information about the shooting can contact the Sheriff’s Office at 408-808-4500, or leave an anonymous tip at 408-808-4431.
Meanwhile, as police officers are under attack, the state is doing all it can to protect criminals. Including changing the age in which they could be tried as juveniles instead of adults.
When a person reaches the age of 18, he can enlist in the United States Military. He can vote in our nation’s elections. He can get married. He can be sent to an adult prison rather than a juvenile detention facility.
This legislative session, California is seeking to change the latter.
Lawmakers in California are “considering” expanding the age for which criminals can be tried as juveniles.
The bill, SB 889, was introduced last week and claims to be in “recognition that people under 21 still need guidance.”
The author of the bill is democratic State Senator Nancy Skinner.
She said that other laws, such as restrictions on purchasing tobacco, cannabis and alcohol, require a person to be 21 because this is the “adult or responsible age.”
“Treating 18- and 19-year-olds as adults,” Skinner said, “makes no … sense in the criminal context.”
She also added that the bill would “likely” leave courts “some discretion when dealing with the most serious crimes.”
— International Juvenile Justice Observatory (@IJJOjustice) January 31, 2020
The President of the Chief Probation Officers of California, Brian Richart, said:
“The science says [people] between 18 and 24 have less than fully developed prefrontal cortexes. Their decision making is inhibited. They act impulsively and we know this, yet we treat them as if they are fully developed.”
The executive director of San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Daniel Macallair, doesn’t think Richart is coming from a place of science.
He has stated that due to the decline of juvenile arrests, and the fact that San Francisco is in the process of closing its facility for lack of use, he believes Richart and other probationers are supporting the legislation for job security.
“You’ve got juvenile halls that are sitting empty and they are seeking a population to fill it. I think what’s prompting this is not a desire to necessarily do things in a different way, but I think [it’s] out of concern that the juvenile hall population is declining.”
"SB 889 aims to “align” itself with the treatment of 16 and 17-year-olds… The bill was developed using scientific research stating that the prefrontal cortex… is not fully developed in 18 and 19-year-olds." Read more here: https://t.co/toXXFz7HBt
— CA Probation Chiefs (@CPOC_Probation) January 30, 2020
Additionally, Macallair worries about both placing juveniles with adults, as well as 18- to 20-year old offenders getting longer sentences due to their ages.
“The Legislature should slow down and really conduct an analysis to what the benefits are and what the problems are that will arise,” he said.
Richart said his support for the bill wasn’t about jobs. He stated that when he was a young probation officer, a 17-year-old member of his family was incarcerated in state prison, and he witnessed the impact it had even after release.
He told the LA Times that the experience “informed my own thinking on the more humane way to treat people. Our proposal … is saying that in the eyes of the criminal justice system, we really need to look at the age of maturity, not adulthood.”
Larry Morse is the legislative director of the California District Attorneys Association. He has stated that the organization hasn’t yet taken a position on the bill, and that they would need some clarifying information before doing so.
In a statement, Morse said:
“We note that when someone turns 18, the government declares them old enough to marry, to bind themselves in contracts, to vote, and most importantly, decide to put their life on the line in service to their country.
This bill suggests you’re old enough to make those decisions, yet not responsible enough to be held accountable for committing a violent crime. This seeming contradiction is of great concern.”
In November of 2014, voters in California passed Prop 47, which changed the laws and penalties of theft. The threshold to move a theft from a misdemeanor to a felony was raised from $450 to $950, and also reduced several other crimes to be misdemeanors rather than felonies.
The legislation also allowed retrials for persons already serving in jail or prison for felony thefts, letting people out of jail for crimes committed based on new laws in an effort to reduce the prison population.
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The California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) is not impressed with the outcome of Prop 47, and has been seeking to amend it since September of 2019.
The CPCA sponsors a program called the Keep California Safe initiative. According to the program:
“As a result [of Prop 47], there has been an explosion of serial theft and an inability of law enforcement to prosecute these crimes effectively. Theft has increased by 12% to 25%, with losses of a billion dollars since the law was passed.”
Additionally, the CPCA believes those numbers are even lower than in actuality, due to the fact that retailers don’t even bother reporting thefts that amount to below the $950 threshold.
Keep California Safe would amend Prop 47 in a number of ways to increase reporting, arrests, and convictions for theft.
This must be done. I confess even I voted for it because I was trying to be more open minded and hoped it would make a difference.
It certainly did make a difference.
— Big Bertha (@MistralWinds) January 30, 2020
First, a “serial theft” felony is sought to be added. This would mean that a person caught stealing merchandise valued at more than $250, three times, would face felony charges.
The other changes, as reported by CBS Sacramento, include amendments to Prop 57 in addition to Prop 47. The proposed changes are as follows:
-Expands the list of violent crimes for which early release isn’t an option, including rape of an unconscious person, trafficking a child for sex, assault of a peace officer, felony domestic violence
-Reinstates DNA collection for certain crimes that were reduced to misdemeanors
-Requires Board of Parole Hearings to consider an inmate’s entire criminal history when deciding parole, not just his/her most recent commitment offense
-Requires a mandatory hearing to determine if parole should be revoked for any parolee who violates the terms of parole for the third time
The Chiefs are trying to Keep California Safe, but with district attorneys like Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, and the far-left leaning legislature, I’m not holding my breath.
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