I stumbled across an article today and here’s the headline:
When the word targeted is used, one expects some sort of evidence of collusion or a string of incidents where no motive can be clearly identified.
Digging into the different events we see that many of these incidents center around known criminals. For instance the Shooting in Port Orchard (emphasis mine):
The man, Anthony A. Martinez, who was killed by a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy during the shootout outside a Walmart store, already was facing felony charges of kidnapping the girl last year in Utah when they apparently again took off together last week.
Or the shooting in St. Petersburg (emphasis mine):
Or the shooting in Indiana(emphasis mine):
Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Ciesielski says he believes 60-year-old Thomas Hardy is the man who shot officer David Moore twice in the face and in his chest and leg during a traffic stop Sunday, critically wounding Moore.
The Indiana Department of Correction says Hardy had a criminal history dating back to at least 1984, when he was sentenced to 13 years in prison on a burglary conviction. He was released on parole in 1990, but has been in and out of prison since then on various charges, including seven sentences for theft, one for cocaine possession and one for misdemeanor battery.
The only incident that really leaves any lingering questions is the shooting in Detroit. Currently it appears the shooter was possibly upset at the conviction and sentencing of his brother Monday. At the end of the article the Detroit Police Chief states the following:
Thank you captain obvious. Criminals do not care about the law and authority. How egotistical do you have to be to think that people are hunting you just because you’re a cop. About the only shooting that fits that description is the incident in Detroit, and that appears to be an isolated incident. The rest were instances where the police were on the offensive and, surprise, the criminal shot back. Note, I do not support the actions of criminals, however I do NOT find it surprising that they shot back. To them they are fighting for survival, that’s what makes traffic stops and arrests so dangerous. The criminal is about to get caught and from his point of view he has to fight to survive.
If the recent events are causing some police officers to believe they are being targeted, they might want to start investigating their behavior towards the public and remember that criminals do not obey the law. I have dealt with some officers who definitely should not be wearing a uniform. I am glad to say though most of my encounters with law enforcement have been very positive. In talking to one of the officers I do see often, the reason they make sure that it’s positive is because of the help they get from the community because of it. A few officers I know also like having citizens who carry because they know if it came to it we could and would help. It boils down to knowing the officer though. He likes the thought of a citizen being able to help should he require it, where I live a back up officer can take 20 minutes easily. At the same time, I would be willing to help because his behavior towards me presents the likelihood that the officer is in the right in this instance.
If you are an LEO and the events above make you feel like you’re being targeted, look at how you’re treating the public when you interact with them. While it is understood you must be cautious, that gives you no reason to not be personable, approachable, or generally courteous. Just because you wear the badge, doesn’t mean you’re exempt from laws or respectable behavior. If you’re upset at the idea of the public video taping you while doing your job, you need to ask yourself why. If it’s a public place, they certainly have every right. There has been more than one incident where things occurred out of view of their dash camera and their microphone was off.
For those who think that officers can’t be personable, when I went and renewed my CPL I noticed the sheriff was wearing a 1911. Ended up talking about firearms for a bit, he then pulled it out, unloaded it, and let me look at it, it was a Kimber TLE. This was on Friday, he dropped my permit off the following Monday with my wife at home. While some of that I realize is the benefit of living in a small town, the level of service and personably though should be what every department strives for.