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MILWAUKEE, WI- Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales warned at a news conference on Friday that officers are being followed home and police families are now being targeted.
He made the comments during the announcement of a federal arrest made in the last week, and got heated when talking about the rising threat officers face on the job.
He said the city needs to do a better job at taking care of police.
“I’m angry because a political figure approached me yesterday and said the rumor amongst us in the political group, here in the City of Milwaukee, we’re told that that officer shot himself.
There was a person in an auto that fired three shots at that officer. I’m angry because we’re not being believed that a police officer was shot,” Morales said.
He reiterated the rising threat.
“PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KILL POLICE OFFICERS. We have officers that are being followed home, the Madison sheriff had his house surrounded. Why are our families, why are our families now being targeted? You talk about crucify, what are we going to get by doing that? That has to stop.”
He said the media and others are quick to point a finger at every cop.
“Something happens in another city, another state, and it’s very, very easy to jump on the bandwagon and say Milwaukee can do better. Shame on those, that’s an easy narrative, it’s a very easy narrative to jump on,” Morales said.
Then he talked about how the mob mentality is to blame.
“2,000 years ago, an angry mob came before people to say, ‘Crucify that man’, that man being Jesus Christ. What are angry mobs doing today? We say we’re civilized, but are we really?
Let’s think about that — and that includes you, media – you play a big role in changing the perceptions that are out there.” he added.
When the media asked who he was saying was crucified by an angry mob, Morales said police officers.
“Law enforcement throughout our nation is being crucified. That’s what they want, that’s what these angry mobs are doing. There’s several different types of groups out there protesting.
There’s peaceful protesters that are angry for what happened in Minnesota and we get that, we’ll work with that,” he said, “but there’s also people taking advantage to loot our cities, to burn our cities, and make no mistake, throughout the nation, there’s individuals or groups out there that want to burn a police station down. That is not going to fix anything.”
Of course Democrat State Senator Lena Taylor decided to attack the police chief.
“He’s upset about police being crucified, no, what happened instead is Mr. Floyd was suffocated with somebody’s knee,” said State Senator Lena Taylor.
Taylor went on to warp Biblical scripture to fit her agenda.
“If right now, Jesus was here, he would be with the people, that’s where he always found himself to be,” she said, “And who is the person, the individuals, who are out here normally doing this work, blocking the streets? The police.”
We’ve been warning about the threat against law enforcement officers at their own homes. We’ve been attacked for issuing the alerts, accused of “creating fear”.
Now, unfortunately yet another case comes in showing we were right… and reinforces the urgency of the warning.
In Georgia, three people have been arrested after officials say they tracked two Georgia law enforcement officers to their homes and torched their patrol vehicles with Molotov cocktails.
Three suspects have been arrested in relation to arson of two GCPD patrol cars at officers' homes.
Unrelated case: another officer found a smashed windshield & side window at a his home in Lawrenceville. Seeking tips @StopCrimeATL 404-577-8477
— Gwinnett County Police (@GwinnettPd) June 4, 2020
It happened Thursday night.
WSB reported that the first incident occurred outside a home in Duluth sometime after 10 p.m.
That’s when a 911 call came in that a Gwinnett County Police Department car was on fire at that location. The flames had been put out by the time responding officers arrived.
WXIA reported that according to witnesses, three black males were spotted running away from the scene.
Not long after, according to WSB, a second 911 call came in that someone tried to set a patrol car on fire in Lawrenceville.
When police got there, they found a fire on the ground behind the patrol vehicle and put it out with a fire extinguisher.
WXIA says the vehicle was also dented and that witnesses saw a dark-colored car take off shortly after the attack.
“We’re very lucky that they were unsuccessful in starting any fires to our police cars that could cause any significant damage,” Gwinnett Police Department Corporal Michele Pihera said.
According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, Lawrenceville police found that vehicle and arrested Alvin Joseph, 21. Turns out just days before, he had been arrested at a protest at Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville.
Police had to use a Taser to subdue him… and he was released hours later.
In the back of the car after those attacks, police also found and arrested Lakaila Mack, 20.
Hours later they caught a third suspect, 21-year-old Ebuka Chike-Morah.
That bust came by investigators from the Gwinnett Arson Unit, the Gwinnett Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Police said they were able to secure a search warrant on Chike-Morah’s vehicle along with the car Joseph was driving.
They said they found more accelerant that matched items used for the Molotov cocktails inside one of their cars – that’s according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Now for the charges:
Joseph – Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, interference with government property, and two counts each of possession of tools for the commission of a crime, criminal trespass, possession and manufacturing a destructive device, and first-degree arson.
Chike-Morah and Mack – Two counts each of interference with government property, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, criminal trespass, possession and manufacturing a destructive device, and first-degree arson.
These weren’t the only attacks.
Police say the windows of a third patrol vehicle parked outside another officer’s residence near Lawrenceville were smashed in earlier in the week.
It wasn’t connected to the firebombing attacks.
Then in Gainesville, in a seemingly unrelated incident, a patrol vehicle was torched outside an officer’s home and six other Gainesville police cars were damaged during riots in that area.
That’s according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Gainesville police posted about the damage on social media:
“As representatives of our community and as your police agency, we want to share with you details regarding the events and challenges that we have been facing this past week.
Last night, we became targets of violence when a patrol vehicle was torched at a private residence. This is just one of the many patrol vehicles that have sustained damage over the past few days.
Not only are officers having to deal with the dangers of their daily duties such as having rocks, bottles and fireworks thrown at them, now they are dealing with attacks at their own homes.
Just prior to this, a female officer received medical treatment after being attacked by a man wielding a sharp weapon. The officer sustained injuries to her head.
Sadly, this has been our reality the past few days. We say all of this to let you know that we are proud to serve our community. We will continue to protect and serve as the professionals that we are. We do not oppose you, we stand with you. We stand firm against violence. We stand firm for you, the community. As a community we must stay united against destruction and violence.
Early Sunday, Law Enforcement Today warned that groups are reportedly canvassing neighborhoods and taking photos of houses with police cars in the driveways and that the FBI has put out a warning.
It came from the Boston field office of the FBI about law enforcement being targeted at their homes.
The warning was sent out in an Internal Document obtained by ABC 5.
It says that the F.B.I. had “received credible intelligence that rioters are looking for officers’ home addresses via public records.”
The report comes on the heels of two men being charged with criminal trespassing. This, after they were found in the backyard of a Chicago Police officer with a gasoline can.
It happened Monday night to a Chicago Police Captain – although the men claimed they had simply run out of gas.
According to CBS Chicago, there is no evidence that the captain was specifically targeted … but the men had a gasoline can and a lighter on them when they were arrested
And in Tucson, Arizona, the Tucson Police Officers Association reported that one of their members was targeted at his home this week.
In the Facebook Post, they stated the following:
“Last night one of our members had his home and personally owned vehicle vandalized. He does not take a police car home. He does not wear a uniform to or from his house. He does not have a thin blue line flag or any pro cop stickers. The only way to explain this damage was that he was targeted. Targeted for the job he does. Targeted because he answered the call to serve his community.”
The Association continued:
“This is unacceptable. How does something like this further the discussion that our country so desperately needs to have? How does scaring the family of a police officer help to improve relationships?”
“For the better part of two weeks police officers all over this country have been targeted because of the uniform they wear. Officers have been shot and killed, stabbed and ran over by vehicles. Sadly, these types of incidents are doing nothing to help the country heal. This must stop. We can do better.”
The Florida Highway Patrol Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence put out an alert after Law Enforcement Today’s article. In it, they said the following:
“BCII received information from one of our Troopers, that his neighbor approached him last night to inform him that there was a group of individuals who were seen in his neighborhood photographing a Jupiter PD patrol car and home. It is unknown at this time if the Trooper’s home was also photographed, however it is likely.”
Since the original article dropped, we’ve received dozens of messages from police officers across the country reporting similar situations.
As a result, Law enforcement officials from across the country have reached out to Law Enforcement Today asking us to warn police across America about the potential threat.
Many of the officers we’ve spoken with have reported that their departments have made internal changes over the past few days to ensure both the on-duty and off-duty safety of their officers.
Transparently – our team debated internally whether or not to cover this story. We are America’s largest law enforcement owned and operated media outlet, and we are unapologetically pro-police.
Although we don’t hesitate to call out and provide media coverage of bad apples, our priority is in giving the voice to law enforcement that they’re often denied in the mainstream media.
The last thing we want to do is put officers at risk by giving bad people ideas.
But soon after this threat started spreading like wildfire online, we had law enforcement from across the country reach out. They pointed out that the threat is already circulating.
Many have asked us to address it so that departments are aware of it and can take precautions to make changes, if they deem it necessary – especially given how quickly it’s circulating.
They made a valid point – it’s better to be aware of a potential danger and take precautions than to not know about it because of a national breakdown in communication.
It’s worth noting that we have NOT received any confirmation of this from the FBI. With that said, a number of agencies have confirmed for us off the record that they’re aware of it and are making internal changes. We’ve been asked for obvious reasons to not report which agencies they are.
Here’s what we’re told.
In a number of different communities in states ranging from California and Texas to Florida – reports have come in that small groups of individuals appear to be canvassing neighborhoods and taking pictures of homes that have police cruisers in the driveways.
“I can absolutely confirm this,” told us one police spokesman, who asked that his department be kept anonymous because of the threats. “We’ve received multiple reports throughout the weekend both in terms of phone calls and alerts that neighborhood residents are putting out on community watch apps.”
It comes as police are receiving direct, personal threats through social media, calls and emails.
“We and our children are receiving threats,” one police lieutenant told Law Enforcement Today.
The departments we spoke with said that they’re currently making policy changes so that take-home police cruisers are either garaged or – for now – left at the police departments.
“We expect danger when on the job,” said one sergeant. “But this is different. They are threatening to burn down our homes and kill our families.”
Officials have also told us that they’re instructing officers to make other changes, such as making sure uniforms aren’t hanging in personal vehicles while driving into work.
“Effective starting this past weekend, no police vehicles – including unmarked vehicles – will be brought up,” one Captain told Law Enforcement Today. “This isn’t to punish our guys – it’s to protect them and their families.”
We’ll keep you updated as this story develops – and you can send us information about what’s happening in your department or community at [email protected] Vetted information and sources will be kept confidential.
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All of this comes as the Minnesota National Guard deals with what the FBI says is a ‘credible, lethal threat’. As a result, activated units are now armed.
Minnestota National Guard’s top general said his soldiers are armed after receiving FBI warning about “credible, lethal threat” against his forces
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) May 31, 2020
The National Guard’s top general requested military police units from out of state as a result of the threat. He has not requested active-duty forces yet.
Minnesota National Guard’s top general says he has requested military police units from other states, but has not requested active-duty forces yet
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) May 31, 2020
These threats reportedly came after officials worked to determine if extremist groups had infiltrated police brutality protests across the country.
Definitely hope this doesn’t happen to your humvee pic.twitter.com/S4gw8T5OZX
— GOD ATTACKER AND DETHRONER (@upsetterofchuds) May 29, 2020
Law enforcement is looking into if they deliberately tipped largely peaceful demonstrations toward violence.
Just in: Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen says his soldiers are armed & "carrying ammunition" in their magazine pouches based on "a credible lethal threat" to Minn NG conveyed by the FBI on Thursday. Can be upgraded based on local conditions.
— Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) May 31, 2020
To make matters worse, they’re investigating if foreign adversaries – such as Russia – were behind a growing disinformation campaign on social media.
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) May 30, 2020
On Saturday, an Antifa activist group put out a message that encouraged people to consider Minnesota National Guard troops “easy targets,” according to two Defense Department officials.
— John D. (@thinkthinkthin6) May 31, 2020
The activists were encouraged to steal “kit”, or the weapons and body armor used by the soldiers.
The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, reports one outlet.
Now, soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard have been armed during all missions at protests across the state.
The soldiers are sometimes – but not always – armed. Yet for the past few days, they haven’t been armed as they’ve moved into parts of the state taken over by riots.
In the state, the troops do not currently have the authority to make arrests, and are there to act essentially as extra security for police.
There are currently more than 4,100 National Guard soldiers and airmen in Minneapolis.
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