“Everybody has turned their backs on us.”
Police officers across the nation are leaving in record numbers as violent attacks increase and city officials openly side with rioters and tighten restrictions on what officers can do in response to the rising urban violence across the country.
In the latest high-profile incident, two Los Angeles County deputies were shot in their patrol vehicle. The officers reportedly were a 31-year-old female and a 24-year-old male. Both had been on the job barely 14 months.
The gunman fired several rounds into the car and then ran off, jumping into a waiting sedan.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva, in a press conference, called the shooting “a cowardly act” and said the deputies were just doing their job monitoring the safety of those riding the train.
Organized planning behind the event seemed likely as protestors blocked the way when the deputies were rushed to the hospital, FOX News reports. Protesters blocked the entrance and exit to the emergency room at the hospital near Los Angeles.
The L.A. County Police Department pleaded with protesters to stop blocking the doors and preventing ambulances from getting through.
“People’s lives are at stake,” the sheriff’s department posted in a tweet.
Members of the mob blocking the hospital chanted phrases such as “We hope they die,” in addition to obscenities, FOX News reported.
A local faith leader told reporters that members of the mob were shouting “Death to the police!” and “Kill the police!” while attempting to get inside the hospital.
Protesters continued shouting at law enforcement officers who were trying to protect the hospital, telling them, “You’re next,” and “Y’all gonna die, one by one.”
“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job,” Villanueva said. “Actions, words have consequences. And our job does not get any easier because people don’t like law enforcement. It’s going to be a challenge day after day.”
As the demonization of police continues, increasing numbers of citizens will stop trusting them, says attorney Luis Robles. Already there is confusion in many places about what constitutes a crime and what no longer will result in punishment, with governments using selective enforcement to advance political agendas and punish those who oppose their decisions.
“The appropriate term is lawfare, as in warfare,” Robles said. “The law becomes a tool of the state to manipulate an agenda. The police are told just not to enforce certain laws or for certain people. Citizens bear the burden, and often it is those who can least afford a loss.”
Police officers in Chicago are retiring at twice the normal rate. With almost 60 officers retiring in August and September, retirements in 2020 will be higher than in any of the past few years, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“Who wants to stay in this environment?” Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara told the Sun-Times. “If you have the ability to leave, there is no incentive to stay anymore. The mayor doesn’t back us. If you have the financial ability to do so, I don’t blame a single soul for leaving.”
New York City is likewise experiencing an increase in retirements and resignations of police officers, reports NY1. NYPD Deputy Inspector Richard Brea retired from the force, describing the leadership in the city as weak in its handling of the violence and increased shootings. Many police officers are leaving in the wake of the violent disturbances and anti-police rhetoric, NY1 reports.
“Everyone has turned their backs on us,” a retiring officer choosing to remain anonymous told NY1. “From the media, to politicians, to some of our own. Sad to see decades of hard work and many sacrifices—many were officers’ lives—be washed away. The media hasn’t helped. They irresponsibly portray a department that’s out of control. We know that’s not true.”
Police are leaving the San Francisco force “in record numbers,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Nearly all those who left in the first half of 2020 have taken law enforcement jobs elsewhere, the story notes, indicating local conditions are forcing them out.
Officers in cities under mob siege—such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle—are expressing disappointment in the city governments and say lawmakers have abandoned them.
“Officers say they have been demonized unfairly and have had enough,” the Washington Times reports. “They are resigning or retiring en masse, creating a new crisis: police forces that are short-staffed and inexperienced.”
Although the individual who pulled the trigger is solely responsible for the attack on the Compton police officers, the mob shouting threats and obscenities at the police is a different matter, The Wall Street Journal notes in an editorial. The mob activity reflects “a cultural poison nurtured by the left-wing anti-police movement sweeping the country,” the paper’s editorial board writes.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti criticized the attack, but Democrats must do more to discourage the rising criminal activity in these cities where they have long held monopolies on local government, the Journal states.
“Mr. Garcetti and other mayors should abandon their cuts to law-enforcement budgets and express regular solidarity for cops on the beat,” the paper’s editorial board writes. “Without such a signal, police will continue to retreat from enforcing the law in crime-ridden neighborhoods, and those who suffer most will be the law-abiding in the likes of Compton and [New York City neighborhood] Flatbush.”