WASHINGTON D.C. – All it takes is a quick scroll through social media to see the attacks on law enforcement. It’s about time we have a conversation about what’s happening.
A recent string of police shootings highlights the grim reality of the increased danger police officers face around the country.
On Wednesday, September 24, suspect Larynzo Johnson shot two Louisville police officers during demonstrations following the Breonna Taylor decision by a Grand Jury. The officers were on the scene responding to reports that shots had been fired. Major Aubrey Gregory and Officer Robinson Desroches were wounded by the shooter, but their injuries were not life threatening.
Officers from LMPD, in addition to National Guardsmen were positioned at various posts around the hospital perimeter, protecting it from being breached by demonstrators. The demonstrators were chanting and screaming for the wounded officers’ deaths.
Police and National Guard are out protecting the hospital where the two officers who were shot are being treated. pic.twitter.com/gAgi0zd2oh
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) September 24, 2020
On Saturday, September 12, an unknown suspect shot two Los Angeles County deputies in a patrol car. The vehicle was stationed at the Martin Luther King Metro Transit Center, in Compton, when the gunman walked up to the passenger side door of the patrol car. He is shown on surveillance video quickly firing several rounds into the car, striking both deputies, before running away.
Update: The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation. pic.twitter.com/cBQjyKkoxJ
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) September 13, 2020
The deputies sustained gunshot wounds to the head and upper torso area. Miraculously, both officers remained conscious during and following the attack, which last several seconds.
After the suspect fled the scene, the deputies vacated their vehicle, and sought cover among the outer columns of the metro center. There, Deputy Claudia Apolinar, though shot through the jaw (among other parts of her body), was able to radio for help and tend to her partner.
The young mother sat her partner down against a column, and began applying pressure to his wounds. She was also eventually successful in applying a tourniquet on her partner’s worst bleeding wound.
— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) September 15, 2020
Also miraculously, both deputies were recently released from the hospital, and are reportedly resting. They face a long road ahead toward full recovery. A manhunt for the shooter is still underway, with the reward being increased to $200,000.
Great News… both of our Deputies from the #ComptonAmbush have been discharged from the hospital and are resting. They both have a long road to recovery and #LASD appreciates your continued prayers and all the support. #LASDStrong pic.twitter.com/FAXt1yalmp
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) September 22, 2020
BLM demonstrators gathered at Lynwood Hospital, where the deputies were taken, chanting and screaming for the wounded officers’ deaths.
Los Angeles County Detective Keegan McInnis created a GoFundMe page for the deputies on the day after the shooting. So far, it has raised over $762,000, and continues to increase.
On Sunday, August 30, a suspect shot two Chicago police officers during a traffic stop in the Homan Square area, west of downtown. The officers were responding to a report of someone openly displaying a gun in public.
The description given of the suspect’s vehicle, matched that of the vehicle they pulled over. Officers saw the weapon as they were walking up to the vehicle. The man locked himself in the vehicle after refusing commands by officers to exit.
The suspect shot both officers after one of the broke his driver’s side window. One of the officers’ was hit in the chest; both officers were hit in an arm. A third officer arriving on the scene shot the suspect.
Both officers and the suspect were hospitalized. The officers are expected to recover, while the status of the suspect is unclear.
— Vi Nguyen (@ViNguyen) August 30, 2020
UCR-LEOKA Incident Reporting Program
Since 1929, the FBI has been providing uniform crime reporting statistics to police departments nationwide. They have been tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics.
Today, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program distributes four data collection publications annually. The publications are received by more than 18,000 participating city, college/university, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies.
The four data collections, according to the UCR page, are: The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), the Summary Reporting System (SRS), the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, and the Hate Crime Statistics Program.
The FBI’s LEOKA data collection and reporting program specifically, was established in 1937. In 1971, the FBI was called upon to expound upon its data collections, providing greater detail and in-depth analysis of the circumstances leading to officer deaths.
The LEOKA page describes the three-tier approach that the FBI takes in this particular area of reporting:
The program has a three-tier approach in order to fulfill its mission and promote officer safety awareness to the law enforcement community nationwide:
- Data collection: Data on line-of-duty deaths and assaults are collected from participating agencies across the country through the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, and the recent expansion of the data collection methods are providing even more facts that can be studied by experts and officer safety trainers in order to tailor training to real world circumstances. The data are also published annually in the Bureau’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report.
- Research: Over the years, researchers led by the LEOKA Program have been conducting in-depth research using UCR data collected regarding incidents in which officers are killed or assaulted. The published research gives officers a sharper understanding of what types of scenarios and circumstances have resulted in fatalities and assaults. These articles and publications also contain information obtained through extensive interviews with officers and offenders involved in critical incidents to develop lessons learned, trends and curriculum development for the FBI’s Officer Safety Awareness Training (OSAT).
- Training: The objective of the Bureau’s OSAT, which has been provided to thousands of our law enforcement partners in the U.S. and abroad, is to assist law enforcement managers, trainers, and personnel with identifying issues and circumstances that may contribute to officer deaths and assaults and help prevent them. Data has shown an increase in ambushes on our nation’s law enforcement officers. As a result, LEOKA trainers are studying the data with the purpose of shaping future training to help reverse this trend with information and education.
Latest stats were collected as of 9/11/20. They indicate that so far in 2020, 37 law enforcement officers are reported to have been feloniously killed. 30 officers were feloniously killed in all of 2019.
Of the officers killed in 2020, eight of them were victims of ambush, and two were victims of unprovoked attack. The majority were killed while actively engaged with suspects.
The infographic below, breaks down both felonious and accidental deaths by circumstance and region:
The LEOKA Program also offers to departments participating in the program, a special portal called the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP). This provides specific training materials, even more detailed case studies pertaining to officers killed in the line of duty, and killed in the line of fire, as well as violent encounter and awareness case studies, along with an archive of safety related articles. The goal of utilizing such resources is to mitigate officer injuries, and especially deaths.
Officer attacks correlate with anti-police sentiment
Manufactured anti-police sentiment is becoming a pervasive problem throughout the United States. It correlates with nationwide demonstrations reacting to the deaths of individuals at the hands of law enforcement, who were engaging in criminal activity and failing to respond to police directives (let alone exhibiting aggression toward the officers).
Spurred by the ongoing display of partial cellphone footage, unconfirmed rumors, and generally incorrect narratives disseminated repeatedly on broadcast and social media… emotion has been boiling over into the streets against the police. That emotion is being informed with just enough mis-information to seemingly keep people angry enough to incite change.
As ABCNews reported, this movement of emotion has called the very role of police itself into question. The law enforcement debate, and whether or not to reform or defund police has even become a high profile topic influencing the 2020 election cycle.
ABC cites retired Criminal Justice Professor from New York’s John Jay College, Delores Jones-Brown:
“Part of what we are seeing is the response to images of officers killing people in ways the public sees as undeserved (and) rulings like the one in the Breonna Taylor case where it looks like the courts are willing to hold the safety of officers above the safety of civilians when they are often asleep and unarmed.”
Even experts in criminal justice are being deceived by the disingenuous reporting that is spread throughout America’s media outlets.
Chicago Police Superintended David Brown told reporters during a recent press conference:
“We’re hyper vigilant anyway as a profession, but when officers are shot here and another parts of the country, it makes us even more concerned about the safety of our officers.”
That heightened level of concern for safety, on top of already existing hyper vigilance, could mean even less tolerance for non-compliance from suspects.
Gang pacts add to concern for officers’ safety
To make matters worse, The Chicago Police Department confirmed to Fox News at the end of August, that the FBI has issued an intelligence alert for area law enforcement. The alert informed the department that there exists a cabal of roughly 36 area gangs, who have formed a pact to immediately shoot any police officer who has his or her weapon drawn on any suspect in public.
A federal intelligence alert has gone out to Chicago-area law enforcement warning that nearly three dozen street gangs "have formed a pact to 'shoot on-site any cop that has a weapon drawn on any subject in public.’” https://t.co/H3sefu4NgT
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) September 1, 2020
A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department spoke with Fox about the alert:
“We have been made aware of this threat by a law enforcement partner. The Chicago Police Department takes all threats against officer safety seriously and we will take all necessary measures to safeguard our officers.”
Gang members, when not committing crimes themselves, have been actively surveilling police officers while performing their functions. Their intent is reportedly to be able to film the shooting of the officer, and leak the footage to media sources around the nation.
Although no other such alerts have been reported, as of yet, there is no evidence that other such pacts would or would not exist in other parts of the country as well.
As a growing number of prominent anti-police voices pontificate on television about officers needing more training, it seems that more training is indeed necessary. The training, however, should follow more along the lines of how officers can better protect themselves from ambush attacks.
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