The attempted murder of two deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department over the weekend appalled most Americans and further divided a society trying to resolve differences between law enforcement agents and minority communities.

An unknown suspect walked up to the passenger-side window of a patrol car Saturday night in Compton, Calif., aimed a firearm and shot the officers. Surgeons operated on both individuals following the tragic incident; medical personnel expect them to recover.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department only identified the officers as a 24-year-old man and 31-year-old woman who graduated together from the sheriff’s academy 14 months ago; they work on the sheriff’s transportation detail. Despite being critically wounded, one of the deputies called for help on a radio.

Surveillance video captured images of the shooting, and law enforcement agents seek the public’s help in identifying the offender. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said over the weekend. “It pisses me off; it dismays me at the same time. There’s no pretty way to say it.”

Another disturbing development was the way some spectators reacted to the shooting. Video footage shows a few of them wishing the officers would die and hoping for additional shootings of law enforcement agents. Police officials said protesters blocked the entrance of the hospital where the officers were taken.

There is no excuse for the shooting of these individuals, carried out by someone with a depraved mindset. Ambushing police officers is an attack on civilized society and the rule of law. We join with many other Americans in hoping the best for the officers and urging authorities to bring the suspect to justice.

And there also is no excuse for the belligerent and callous behavior on the part of some people following the shooting. Calling for police officers to die is reprehensible. This is no way to bridge differences and make meaningful changes.

We do not know who the perpetrator is, so we don’t know what motivated this individual. But the shooting has only increased the acrimony between those calling for police reforms and members of the law enforcement community.

Tensions have risen this year between these two groups. The ongoing deaths of unarmed Black people by police have led to numerous protests across the country accompanied in some regions by violence and property destruction.

The fabric of our society seems to be fraying. Many Americans have abandoned the most effective way of finding solutions to vexing problems. They focus primarily on their own concerns and not enough on those of perceived rivals.

We all have a stake in how our nation functions, and we all have interests that are worth expressing. When we take each other’s views seriously, we can begin to find the common ground necessary to produce results.

Ensuring police officers have all the resources they need to do their job is paramount. But we also need to discuss ways to reduce unnecessary violence against innocent people.

The shooting in California has only increased animosity, which will do no one any good. Seeking justice for all means supporting our police officers while protecting citizens. If we can’t agree to this, we’re on a truly perilous course.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(18) comments

Kevin Beary

Cops being nervous? About what? Someone having a gun in the car and shooting them to death with it?

https://nypost.com/2020/09/15/police-release-footage-of-fatal-shooting-of-tulsa-police-officer/

Pitbull

Good post, Kevin.

KRobbins

If you’re replying to me that has nothing to do with the shooting of Philando Castile. I acknowledge that the police have a horrendously difficult job. Castile informed them he had a gun and he possessed it legally.

KRobbins

“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,”

Amen to that. It’s a brutally hard job.

Pitbull

Yes, "The fabric of our society seems to be fraying." This is pretty obvious. I don't know if I should say this is complicated or really simple. Here's an observation. There is a perception that there needs to be widespread police reform. Do you think that there might always be some bad apples in a police force responsible for enforcing the law in a country of 330 million people? No matter what training is put in place, a few rogues will always be present. There is also the responsibility, in a civil society, to respond to legal authority resposibly. Most of the cases where police/civilian interaction has turned ugly resulted from persons of interest resisting the police in some way. This was true of Michael Johnson, the Staten Island loosie seller, and many others. If you choose to run, grab for something, fight, bite, spit, kick etc., you are inviting increased force. The only person in recent times that has made the news who was completely minding her own business in her own home was Breonna Taylor. That case is different from all the rest. This has been left out of the conversation because it does not fit the narrative of certain news organizations or BLM. The moral is, respond to a police challenge in a responsible manner, just like most of us would if the tax collector showed up. If we punch the guy in the face or something even more violent, it wouldn't go well. Let's all realize that we want the same thing and we're on the same team.

hermit thrush

the problem with police is far deeper than a few bad apples. reports of misconduct and organized lying among police are legion.

Pitbull

Thats your opinion supported by anecdotal information. Have you had any personal experience. Perhaps this "misconduct and lying" you allege as being legion justifies gun ambushes, lasers to the retina, burning, looting and faux reparations in your mind. Just try living wherever you live without law and order for a year or so. You'll either recant this "police are the problem" nonsense or become a gun nut to defend yourself.

hermit thrush

believe it or not, the world is more complicated than the police being either all good or all bad. this "Just try living wherever you live without law and order for a year or so" line is such childish hogwash. it's not a choice between "accept the police exactly as they are now" and "completely abolish the police with nothing to replace them." people like me want the police to be better. we recognize that there are deep problems with the police (though not necessarily locally) that need to be addressed if our society is going to be devoted to justice.

the nypd, as an institution, lied about the shake shack poisoning. the buffalo pd, as an institution, lied about pushing and injuring that elderly protester. the lapd lied about tackling and arresting an npr reporter. and on and on.

read adam serwer: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/57-bad-apples-buffalo/612781/

read zack beauchamp: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/7/7/21293259/police-racism-violence-ideology-george-floyd

read the medium post "confession of a former b------ cop" (can't link directly because of the profanity, but google will take you two seconds).

it's not anecdotal stuff. it's systemic. to see it, all you have to do is open your eyes.

KRobbins

The only person in recent times that has made the news who was completely minding her own business in her own home was Breonna Taylor.

Philando Castile was killed in front of his girlfriend and her 4 year old daughter for no reason other than the cop being nervous. Oh, but that was in a car.

hermit thrush

the real problem with this is pitbull's whole frame, which is abhorrent. people whose interactions with cops are not 100% perfect do not deserve to be summarily executed.

Pitbull

Do you fail to recognize that nearly all were resiting the cops? Do the cops just run away and get shot in the back? What would you do hermit, if you were to summon the courage to strap on a uniform and do this for a living?

hermit thrush

it is outright barbarism to say that not acting perfectly in front of cops is grounds for summary execution. what a sick, grotesque worldview.

and if you want to talk about people getting shot in the blake, ask jacob blake or walter scott about it.

Eagle24

I certainly agree in multiple instances on video properly following a police challenge

Eagle24

"In the United States, the use of deadly force by sworn law enforcement officers is lawful when the officer reasonably believes the subject poses a significant threat of serious bodily injury or death to themselves or others." Disobeying a police officer is a 2nd degree misdemeanor.. punishable by up to 60 days in jail, six months of probation and/ or a $500 fine.... Those are the two laws applicable to these discussions... so ask yourself, which one would apply? A fine, or deadly force?

Eagle24

PB...do you recognize that disobeying a police officer is a misdemeanor?? Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor.... OMG look it up.. you do research... the sentence is a fine.. not death and the career of a law enforcement officer... geeze...

Pitbull

Yes, I realize this. The problem is, lots of things you do that do not have felony legal consequences, can have really tragic real life consequences. Texting while driving will get you a fine and a ticket. It can also cause you to exit the roadway and drive into a maple tree. How many of these Floyds and Johnsons out there would be alive if they did not resist the cops in the first place? I would guess most.

hermit thrush

my god, this is the complete erasure of all responsibility on the part of the police. who has the power here? who has the training? who carries the guns? that’s who also holds responsibility.

Eagle24

PB...your "texting and driving" example isn't close to comparable.. you're seriously comparing that to a cop kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed man suffocating him to death?? or shooting another man 7 times in the back?? I agree obeying an officer would have prevented most of theses incidents if you agree the cops are culpable for overreaction and their deaths.... ie - blame on both sides...

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