Ed. Note: This article was written by Craig Lally, President, Los Angeles Police Protective League.
Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of violent events and public demonstrations that have dominated news coverage in outlets across the nation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those communities as they look to rebuild. It should go without saying that the officers protecting the citizens in those cities are facing an incredible challenge—we encourage them to be ever vigilant as they try to keep the streets safe. In Los Angeles, we are all aware of the dangers we face every day as we work to fulfill our duty to protect and serve our communities, and have asked our own members to take special care, particularly in this time of heightened tension.
Unfortunately, the riots and protests have fueled a much larger issue—violent crimes targeted directly at police officers. Just in the month of May, the same month we acknowledge and honor fallen police officers nationwide, the country has seen a total of four officers ambushed and killed while on duty. All of us at the LAPPL extend our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters in the Hattiesburg Police Department for the recent terrible tragedy that has taken the lives of two of their officers. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate. Sadly, this tragedy occurred the same day as the funeral of fallen Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Greg Moore, and just one day after the funeral of fallen NYPD Officer Brian Moore. Both officers were fatally shot in the head while on duty.
These disgusting acts of violence that are taking officers’ lives are becoming a regular occurrence. It seems like every few weeks we hear of another officer who has been murdered in cold blood, yet we have heard very little outcry from the public. How is it possible that the citizens in these communities are not outraged? Their protectors have bullseyes on their backs and no one seems to care.
We simply cannot stand for these horrendous acts of violence, and urge the public and media to demand swift justice for these fallen officers just as they would for a civilian life. Something must be done—police officers are serving to protect and instead are being killed on the streets.
This is a terribly sad time for police officers and departments across the country, and the law enforcement community bows its head in mourning. But that is not enough, and we cannot fight this fight alone. While we will continue to attend officer funeral after officer funeral, it must be on the public to raise enough attention and concern in their local communities to ensure that officers around the country are protected.
If officers continue to be consciously targeted and murdered in cold blood and little to nothing changes in the eyes of the public, what will happen? What have we as a society become?
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Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at LAPD.com.