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Police worry about their own safety after killings: 'It's a different world'....

stringer bell
stringer bell Members Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-blue-lives-matter-20150831-story.html
During his 21 years in law enforcement, Cpl. Wayne Curry hasn't worried much about the approach of strangers.

The Texas officer, like anyone who wears a badge, said he has had his share of run-ins with those who harbor a dislike of the police. But when people have stepped up to him, he said, it is "more likely they want to buy me dinner."

Curry is now thinking twice. He spoke as he watched over a crowd of about 1,500 people gathered at an impromptu memorial at a gas station in a Houston suburb, where an on-duty officer from a neighboring department in Harris County near Houston was gunned down Friday in an apparently unprovoked attack while fueling his car.

"This was an ambush, a coward that took advantage," Curry said.

The killing was the latest in a spate of deadly attacks in which police officers have been the targets. Last week, two Louisiana officers were killed in separate incidents and two officers in Mississippi died in May when they came under fire during a traffic stop. At least 25 police killings in New York, Pennsylvania, San Jose and elsewhere have rattled police already this year.

And although dozens of police officers are slain on duty in any given year, active and retired police officers across the country said the recent bloodshed feels different. As the nation has been roiled by strong currents of distrust and fear of police that surfaced after last year's killing of Michael Brown by a cop in Ferguson, Mo., an ugly byproduct of the turmoil has been a newfound willingness to do harm to those in uniform, many police officers say.

"The general public has a perception that we may or may not be the good guys," said Curry, 51, a law enforcement veteran who now works with the Harris County Constable's Office.

The scrutiny, some say, is coming in many forms. The U.S. Justice Department is overseeing the operations of several major police departments across the country; police are being sued, investigated, arrested and indicted; a routine traffic stop may be recorded by dashboard video, body camera or a nearby cellphone; an officer in full uniform can get shot while filling up his vehicle at a gas station. None of these are new, but their frequency and the ongoing national debate over policing have crystallized into a sense of being under siege on all fronts, officers said.

"Day to day, you're a little more aware of your surroundings, you're a little more skeptical of people," said Rick Perine, a 17-year veteran of the Mesa, Ariz., Police Department.

Perine said he has found himself being "hyper-vigilant" since the killings in December of two New York City police officers, who were ambushed in their patrol car. Their killer had boasted on social media that he planned to 🤬 cops in retaliation for the deaths of Brown and Eric Garner, who died during an arrest by officers in Staten Island, N.Y. Garner's and Brown's deaths — coming three weeks apart in 2014 — became part of a growing public outrage toward law enforcement.

"These days, if I don't know you, I'm going to be extra guarded around you," Perine said. "It is a different world."

The brazen nature of the shooting in Texas on Friday night echoed the New York City killings.

Darren Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Department, was in uniform as he pumped gas at a Chevron station outside Houston when a man approached him from behind and shot him several times, officials said. Goforth, 47, died at the scene, leaving behind a wife and two children, ages 12 and 5.

A suspect in the case, Shannon J. Miles, 31, was being held without bail on a charge of capital murder. Goforth was white and Miles is black, but police have discussed no racial motive in the attack.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman told reporters that the investigation so far has not uncovered any connection between Goforth and the suspect, and it appeared he was targeted only because he was a law enforcement officer.

Hickman referred to a "dangerous national rhetoric that is out there today," saying it "has gotten out of control."

He said Goforth's killer approached from behind and said nothing before opening fire.

It was, he said, a "coldblooded execution."

Social media sites, meanwhile, lighted up with posts speculating about a connection between Goforth's slaying and calls earlier last week for attacks on law enforcement on a Houston-area radio show.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a nonprofit group that tracks police deaths, posted figures showing 83 officers have died while on duty so far this year, 10 more than in the same period last year. But, as is typical, traffic accidents have been the most common cause of police deaths and the 25 officers killed in assaults so far this year is about even with 2014, which had seen a sharp rise from the year before, according to the group's figures.

Statistics compiled by the FBI show the number of officers "feloniously killed" each year has fluctuated somewhat over the last decade, but it stands at about 50.

Numbers, however, don't tell the whole story, police said. Whether or not violence toward police is up this year, officers said attacks on law enforcement are playing out in a new atmosphere of amplified animosity, in which cops are routinely vilified — fairly or not — by a public on Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites.


The atmosphere surrounding recent incidents of police violence "is more dangerous," said Deon Joseph, a Los Angeles police officer who has spent 17 years working on the city's skid row. Social media now have "the capability of influencing millions with truth and embellished versions of it with the click of a button," he said, and "more people want to hear the sensationalized version than the truth."

In Southern California, memories of Christopher Dorner still hang heavily over the LAPD and other departments. In 2013, years after he was fired from the LAPD for lying, Dorner resurfaced bent on exacting revenge for what he saw as his unfair dismissal.

Vowing to target the police he blamed for his downfall, Dorner ended up killing four people, including two officers, before killing himself during a standoff with police.

For police in the region, perhaps as unsettling as Dorner's willingness to 🤬 were those who took to social media and other outlets to lionize him and applaud his decision to target cops. Stenciled graffiti portraits of Dorner appeared on buildings across Los Angeles in the weeks after the episode with "Dorner Lives" spray-painted below.


Sandra Sheesley, who retired a few years ago after more than 23 years as deputy in the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, was finishing up a trip to New York City on Sunday. Shaken by the Goforth killing in Texas, she felt compelled to visit the NYPD's 84th Precinct house in Brooklyn, where the two officers slain in December had been stationed.

"It's overwhelming for us," Sheesley said.

Sheesley said she can understand both the anger of people demanding reforms to policing in the country and that of police officers who feel they are under siege. She pointed to the Black Lives Matter social movement that has formed in the wake of the Brown killing and the Blue Lives Matter movement that has arisen in response.

"It's sad, because we need our police," Sheesley said. "But there is definitely something that needs to be addressed."

Meanwhile, police in Houston are being more watchful than ever. The Harris County Sheriff's Department, where Goforth was employed, has ordered its deputies to work in pairs.

Curry's department can't afford that luxury. "We don't have the manpower," Curry said. "But we're saying any time you go to get gas, double up. We don't want a copycat."
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Comments

  • S2J
    S2J Members Posts: 28,476 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Now how do you process this info

    The lil 🤬 says great, awesome

    The wise man says great, awesome, now let me be extra cautious in my dealings bc they got even MORE of a hair trigger

    My fear is mfers are past that point of reason and really feel cops cant tell them anything, more people gon buck, more gon get hemmed up or worse
  • Crude_
    Crude_ Legend Members Posts: 19,965 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No 🤬 to give. You know the risk that comes with wearing that uniform. Just like soldiers sailors and marines know the risk of wearing theirs.

    I can't take my black skin off and hang it in the closet at night though. I always gotta be "hyper vigilant"

    Quoted for emphasis
  • Rembrandt
    Rembrandt The JungleMembers Posts: 198 ✭✭
    Take the emotion out of it; treat every police encounter with calmness and tact. It's not wise to widen the target on your back...
  • Crude_
    Crude_ Legend Members Posts: 19,965 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I find it amazing how blind some people are. Like you got all these cops 🤬 up, beating/murdering people, and getting away without any consequences. Then on top of that, the response from police in general is typically antagonism towards those that express an issue with the state of affairs. How can you have a situation like that and not expect it to come back on you? What the 🤬 you expect people to do. If they can't get justice through legal channels, eventually they are going to take matters into their own hands.

    Cosign, Blacks get killed by the police at a far higher rate than police get killed by the public.

    While I think it's sad and unfortunate some of these cops are getting killed I find it hard to muster up a great deal of sympathy for them either.

    They will 🤬 unarmed Black men and women with little regard to their family or loved ones and then justify their actions based on minor infractions or someone having a criminal record which in many cases are for very minor offenses.

    I don't condoned the killing of anyone unless ones life is truly in danger, but these men and women who put on that uniform on know the risk they run and if they don't like it there are plenty of other occupations that have openings.

    Contrary to the thoughts of many I think law enforcement is a necessary evil the problem comes in when they recruit these low character guys into their academy and police forces that are trigger happy and eager to abuse their law enforcement powers.
  • HustleTree
    HustleTree Members Posts: 2,526 ✭✭✭✭✭
    🤬 them. Too much to handle? Go be a crossing guard 🤬
  • atribecalledgabi
    atribecalledgabi DragonstoneMembers, Moderators Posts: 14,063 Regulator
    These some cry baby ass 🤬 . They wana be soldiers using military equipment and 🤬 but you rarely if ever see/hear actual soldiers whining like this. Your job is hard gtf over it or don't do it. We don't care.
  • memphis2sacnicc
    memphis2sacnicc Members Posts: 2,033 ✭✭✭✭✭
    These 2015 Judge Dredds feeling some type of way now???

    🤬 they feelings.
  • Fosheezy
    Fosheezy AKA Flying Wonders the Diamond Mind Members Posts: 3,204 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pardon me I almost gave a fraction of a f ck!
  • King Erauno
    King Erauno Members Posts: 6,754 ✭✭✭✭✭
    i dont know why they acting surprised about it. people are fed the 🤬 up. people are gonna start taking things into their own hands
  • ChillaDaGawd
    ChillaDaGawd Light it......smoke it......snort it HashtownMembers Posts: 12,021 ✭✭✭✭✭
    🤬 these paul blart donut eating 🤬
  • Brother_Five
    Brother_Five Road to PerditionMembers Posts: 4,448 ✭✭✭✭✭
    HustleTree wrote: »
    🤬 them. Too much to handle? Go be a crossing guard 🤬

    well... that what they are for the most part...
  • VIBE
    VIBE Members Posts: 54,384 ✭✭✭✭✭
    They fear for their lives, yet..

    They have back up
    Attack dogs
    Bullet proof vests
    Guns
    Tasers
    Pepper spray
    Batons
    Handcuffs
    Training

    Nah, they just don't like that people are finally fed up and fighting back.

    That's what happens when you think that a badge is a license to get away with murder, lies, corruption etc

    Every cop signs up, as Dorner did, to change the world, and yet, they're the ones changed to 🤬 it up even more.

    But still, cops that die in the line of duty pale in comparison to those cops who have killed innocent and unarmed citizens.

    Cops 🤬 themselves in higher numbers than they are killed, at least 2x that.

    Tables have turned and they dislike the publics defiance. 🤬 em.
  • D0wn
    D0wn Members Posts: 10,818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    SneakDZA wrote: »
    At least 25 police killings in New York, Pennsylvania, San Jose and elsewhere have rattled police already this year.

    meanwhile...
    studies show there are 125 to 150 police suicides per year

    Source: http://www.badgeoflife.com/currentmyths.php

    Those guys should be more afraid of themselves than random strangers.

    those numbers are not high enough
  • Brother_Five
    Brother_Five Road to PerditionMembers Posts: 4,448 ✭✭✭✭✭
    why do ppl assume cops are necessary?
    what do y'all think they are doing? protecting u from the violent hordes who would otherwise stalk the country on some Mad Max 🤬 ?
    police don't build or maintain civilization guys...
  • rapmusic
    rapmusic Members Posts: 4,130 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2015
    I can get with police feeling bad because one of their own got killed, but they are trying waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too hard. Why are they acting like my dude who killed the cop in Houston didn't already go to court? Why they acting like the brotha ain't about to be locked down forever or killed by the state? Cops are killing folks and get to chill for a year or more until it's time to go to court! And they're usually getting off after going. They just automatically think that the brotha killed the cop in the name of black lives matter? What about the old white man who killed a cop... Why he do it? 🤬 is really getting ridiculous out here bretheren.
  • ChillaDaGawd
    ChillaDaGawd Light it......smoke it......snort it HashtownMembers Posts: 12,021 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Police don't even protect they own neighborhood
  • TayGettem
    TayGettem Members Posts: 6,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    why do ppl assume cops are necessary?
    what do y'all think they are doing? protecting u from the violent hordes who would otherwise stalk the country on some Mad Max 🤬 ?
    police don't build or maintain civilization guys...

    See this is where u get it twisted police are in place to up hold the law
    Is the system perfect not by a long shot
    But the real sickos do get locked up and stay in jail
    Not everyone is a fighter or willing to die for others
    Humans are violent....im not saying I enjoy it but I study sick 🤬 for fun
    I've been browsing the deep web for yrs and seen everything from cult invitation, 🤬 of man , children and women, animals tortured and killed in gruesome ways, games of Russian roulette played live while people bet money on the winner.....the world is a very sick place people think the world is bad with cops but imagine all the sickos in the world who enjoy terrifying and hurting people just for fun running free in this world
    An I'm not tlkin abt gang members I'm taking 🤬 who break in yo 🤬 and 🤬 you at random just cause you home without robbing u...ya those type of sick fckd live all over the world....now image if there was no police force or laws in place? Alot of people don't do 🤬 out of fear of jail or punishment from the law but if it doesn't exist what's stopping me from chopping u up into lil pieces, 🤬 your wife and kids then painting your living room with your blood?......sorry I was so graphic but some people seem to think people are natural good natured lol if that was the case there never would of been slavery or wars to begin with
  • Brother_Five
    Brother_Five Road to PerditionMembers Posts: 4,448 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TayGettem wrote: »
    why do ppl assume cops are necessary?
    what do y'all think they are doing? protecting u from the violent hordes who would otherwise stalk the country on some Mad Max 🤬 ?
    police don't build or maintain civilization guys...

    See this is where u get it twisted police are in place to up hold the law
    Is the system perfect not by a long shot
    But the real sickos do get locked up and stay in jail
    Not everyone is a fighter or willing to die for others
    Humans are violent....im not saying I enjoy it but I study sick 🤬 for fun
    I've been browsing the deep web for yrs and seen everything from cult invitation, 🤬 of man , children and women, animals tortured and killed in gruesome ways, games of Russian roulette played live while people bet money on the winner.....the world is a very sick place people think the world is bad with cops but imagine all the sickos in the world who enjoy terrifying and hurting people just for fun running free in this world
    An I'm not tlkin abt gang members I'm taking 🤬 who break in yo 🤬 and 🤬 you at random just cause you home without robbing u...ya those type of sick fckd live all over the world....now image if there was no police force or laws in place? Alot of people don't do 🤬 out of fear of jail or punishment from the law but if it doesn't exist what's stopping me from chopping u up into lil pieces, 🤬 your wife and kids then painting your living room with your blood?......sorry I was so graphic but some people seem to think people are natural good natured lol if that was the case there never would of been slavery or wars to begin with

    most of what they do has nothing to do with penal codes... this is documented. they know it. scholars know it. the ppl don't...
    deterrence theory is unsupported. ppl obey the laws for reasons outside of criminal sanctions and those who do commit crimes rarely get caught...
    do we need ppl to fight and protect the weak? yes. the police as they are currently organized don't do that to the extent a lot of civilians believe.
    they are a corrupt institution and have been so since their creation. they are primarily revenue collectors and bullies.
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