Des Moines officers Justin Martin and Sgt. Anthony “Tony” Beminio became the latest victims of “ambush” style attacks as they were gunned down as they sat in their patrol cars. Research shows that this year is shaping up as one of the deadliest in America’s history for its police men and women.
- Iowa police shooting suspect identified as white racial separatist Scott Michael Greene.
- Examining a disturbing trend for law enforcement nationwide: 16 officers killed in ambush with the number of police officers gunned down increased 167%. this year, according to a law enforcement group.
- Study reveals trend for traps, speed and violence against a backdrop of racial tension. Will the violence ever end?
Following the deadly trap set for 2 Iowa officers this week in Des Moines, America’s police men and women are witnessing a disturbing upswing in violence against law enforcement by the population it is sworn to protect.
The latest tragic killings paint a picture of the real danger and sophisticated guerrilla-style tactics employed by heavily armed attackers who lure unknowing officers into a trap before mercilessly gunning them down.
And as Iowa suspect Scott Michael Greene’s links to racist white supremacy and white separatist groups emerge, the incident becomes another damning consequence of heightened racial tension civil and unrest across America.
At War With the Police
Responding to the slayings, Sgt Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police stated: “There definitely wasn’t an opportunity for these officers to defend themselves or respond to the attack. Both officers were seated in their cars and were shot while they were sitting.”
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, who track the deaths of US police personnel, see the latest tragic killings as part of a disturbing trend for law enforcement.
All Urbandale schools are closed today as a precaution due to the ambush police killings, manhunt underway. pic.twitter.com/lEvhNzmTCC
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) November 2, 2016
“All of these tragedies remind us in very stark terms that America’s law enforcement professionals are facing clear and growing dangers on our behalf. And, when our police officers are at risk, we are all at risk,” NLEOMF spokesperson Steve Groeninger said.
A Disturbing Trend
- 2016 already equals the previous record of 16 ambush-style killings in 2014.
- 115 officers have been killed in the line of duty this year, a 15% increase over 2015.
- 52 of those officers were killed by gunfire, an increase of 58%.
- 40 officers shot and killed in ambushes since 2014.
- More officers have been shot and killed so far this year than during any full year since 2011.
- On average, 1 police officer is killed every 61 hours in the U.S.
“Ambush Style” Killings
An ambush is generally referred to as an attack that occurs by surprise or from a hidden position. Suspects will then flee the scene of the attack before backup can arrive and attempt to ‘melt into’ large urban populations using tactics more usually adopted by insurgents in the Middle East.
On July 7th of 2016, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed police officers in Dallas, killing five officers and injuring nine others, as well as 2 civilians. The shooter stated that he wanted to kill white people and especially white police officers and the incident occurred following a peaceful Black Lives Matter march against the recent police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
After Johnson retreated into El Centro College, police were able to kill the suspect with a bomb in the early hours of July 8 following a standoff. This shooting was the deadliest incident in US. police history since the 9/11 attacks.
Among other ambush attacks such as those perpetrated by Gavin Eugene Long in July, a black separatist who shot and killed 3 officers in Baton Rouge, its clear that the violence is widespread and now knows no racial divide.
African-Americans make up only 16.6% of the Chicago Police Department. This is one of the city's most ignored community relations issues: pic.twitter.com/G1p8BlsttM
— UrbanBizPartnership (@urbanbizpartner) October 25, 2016
What Can Stop the Killings?
American law enforcement has seen a huge drop in trust and morale in the last few years, policing the streets of America’s large urban centres against budget cutbacks and public pressure for reform following a slate of killings of unarmed black citizens in the past few years.
Right wing news sites were all over the cop killings in Iowa
…….until they found out it was a white right winger who killed them.
— Larry K (@Getsmart4) November 3, 2016
The issue of America’s police force has become a contentious and political topic, with the net result that every police response is under intense scrutiny from an angry public and opportunist politicians.
Where's the wall to wall coverage of the cop killings in Des Moines? Oh that's right the killer was white.
— Matt Murphy (@MattMurph24) November 2, 2016
A, justifiably, heightened sense of threat will not help to reconcile the marginalized Americans that are committing these attacks or to cool the temperature of heated tensions between the police and their civilians.
Couldnt agree more w @HillaryClinton. Need to reform criminal justice system, end school2prison pipeline, improve police-community relations
— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) November 3, 2016
Public trust needs to increase for the slew of killings to stop. The average patrol cop needs to be able to do his job, to function as a servant of the public, without the current weight of public and political pressure. Sadly, that day does not seem to be coming anytime soon.