Tough times for men and women in blue
Law enforcement officials hug each other Monday before a memorial service for two slain Miami-Dade police officers.
January 24th, 2011
01:51 PM ET

Tough times for men and women in blue

As police in Florida prepared for the funeral of two Miami-Dade County police officers gunned down in the line of duty, shots rang out Monday in St. Petersburg, on the other side of the state. Two other officers fell dead and a federal marshal was wounded. Follow updates on CNN and affiliate WFTS-TV.

On any given day, such violence against police officers would be disturbing. But the fatalities capped a particularly violent 24 hours in the United States for the men and women in blue. Eleven police officers were shot.

“It is a very disturbing trend for all of us,” said Hal Johnson, general counsel for the Florida Police Benevolent Association. “Florida has never seen a streak like this. I don’t think anybody has.”

It is natural to search for answers, Johnson said, even if there aren’t any. The shootings do not appear to be related, and the motives may never be known. Declaring it to be open season against police officers seems dangerously simplistic, he added.

He sees the shootings more as acts of desperation.

“They are shooting at people they know have guns,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what’s going on out there, but I’ve never seen it like this. I do see the developing of a callousness. It’s almost as if shooting a police officer has lost its shock effect.”

Consider:

- On Sunday, four officers were shot in a Detroit police station by a man who walked in, firing randomly. Lamar Deshea Moore was shot to death by police so his motive may never be known, but local reports say a relative was awaiting sentencing for double murder. Two of the police officers remain hospitalized. For more, read CNN’s update and affiliate reports from the scene: WXYZ-TV and WDIV-TV.

- Two deputies were shot outside a Walmart in Port Orchard, Washington, near Seattle, on Sunday. Check out CNNKIRO-TV and KOMO-TV for the latest updates.

 - A police officer is in a coma and in critical condition after being shot during a traffic stop early Sunday in Indianapolis. Check out WTHR-TV and WISH-TV for updates.

- In Lincoln City, Oregon, a police officer was shot Sunday night during a traffic stop. The officer is in critical condition. Check out affiliate KOIN-TV for more information.

Although they do not appear to be related, the weekend shootings follow two other violent incidents last week involving police officers, including the Miami killings and a slaying in Lakewood, New Jersey.

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Filed under: Crime • Florida • Indiana • Michigan • Washington state
soundoff (1,001 Responses)
  1. Pete D.

    All I have to say is an armed society is a polite society.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TH Goodie

    I agree with you Mel. People are going to eat one way or another. We need jobs.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tard

    See, the governments and their media puppets are trying to push the message that the economy is recovering nicely and things are OK again. Twenty seven million unemployed people are standing up and screaming "YOU LIARS!".
    A tiny percentage of them are so mentally unbalanced they are acting out against law enforcement authority figures.

    I'm surprised, honestly, things aren't worse for politicians and authority figures in general in the US.
    We have finally hit the tipping point after 3 years of tragic unemployment and lies.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Truth Over Ignorance

    Go after the manufacturers. As long as there is a readily available supply of guns, demand will be met (whether by criminals or regular citizens). Outlaw the production of assault rifles, etc. Limit production to only handguns with a clip size of 6 or less.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      How about we just shoot anti gunners instead?

      January 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • 11:11

      That is a great idea. We could expand it to the auto industry. Any time someone kills another while driving drunk, we should go after the automobile and the liquor manufacturer . Makes perfect sense. So logical.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kevin

    Whether these individuals had a permit or not, they would have obtained guns anyhow because there is a criminal element who would provide them. I am a gun "control" advocate not a gun irradication advocate and unfortunately there are more and more unstable people out there that can secure guns. I guess what I am trying to say is no one is to blame except for society itself. A society that glorifies guns(let's face it, it does), is enthralled with and surrounded by an "action packed / shoot em up / go down in a blaze of glory" entertainment and media industry. With statements like "...cold dead hands" etc. and all the left and right political rhetoric and fear mongering – so much so that people don't trust and even hate the government and feel they have to form armed militias in order to "defend" themselves, because it's the only way we have been taught to deal with adversity "shoot first – ask questions later!" So, I guess, long story short – THERE IS NO ONE TO BLAME BUT OURSELVES! God bless all the officers!

    January 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ssprince1

    This is what happens when anyone can get a gun. The people who are there to protect us can't do their job because too many crazzies have guns. Ridiculous system.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Cars kill 10 times as many people as guns. Ban cars and make everyone pay for public transportation!

    January 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thought police

      I suppose we should also ban sugar and booze? They kill more than cars and guns combined.

      January 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mikey

    I know all three of those officers at the wal-mart shooting and i ham glad they killed the ###### saved the tax payers a lot of money and i agree that the laws do need to be stricker like if you are an excon in a car with a gun 10 years,excon uses a gun hin a crime 30 years, kill anyone automatic death after the trial in the parking lot of the courhouse.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Florian

    How many people have to die in this country before firearms get banned?

    January 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      If you ban firearms we'll make sure millions more are killed.

      January 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thought police

    I wonder what would happen if firearm training became an high school subject? Maybe the dropout rate would decline, or maybe the better students would win these gun battles against the losers who rely on them to steal for a living?
    What if the punishment for shooting a cop, or anyone for that matter, was to take away everything you and your immediate family owned before putting you in front of a firing squad?
    I know one thing, policemen and soldiers don't make enough money. Anyone else out there want to go to work and instead of being abused by their bosses get shot instead?

    January 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PaulN

    In Canada last week, Toronto specifically, there was an officer killed in the line of duty. There was an incredible show of support from the community, both police officers and civilians a like showed up on mass to pay respects to this fallen officer and family man.

    The glaring difference in this case, is that the Toronto officer wasn't shot; he was hit by a fleeing vehicle. As well, the only person shot in this tragedy was the driver of the stolen vehicle as he headed towards other officers. He survived and will be facing a capital murder charge.

    Canada has more guns per capita than any other country, and yet our gun violence is incredibly low. I'm not saying people don't get shot in Canada, I'm just saying it's rare. Windsor, a city south and across the river from Detroit had 0 murders this year, Detroit had over 300. These cities are about a mile apart. This isn't just about gun control, but gun control is a start. It's about a change in the culture.

    No one in Canada is surprised by the number of gun crimes in the US, but we are all shocked that nothing seems to ever be done about it. As soon as a tragedy like these officer involved shootings or the violence in Arizona, the anti-gun control voice seams to scream the loudest. It's a shame it's never the other way around.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SteveL

    I'd like to see some actual statistics regarding the number of incidents where gun-owning victims successfully defend themselves against attackers as well as where deadly and confusing free-for-alls erupt in a crowd where gun-owning civilians attempt to stop a criminal and wind up shooting each other by mistake. I consider myself open-minded and undecided on the gun control issue but all I hear are fear tactics used by both sides of the debate rather than verifiable facts and statistics.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Adrian

    I wonder if these incidents are random or a byproduct of the Tucson shooting. I am not sure if the second amendment is to blame but it does not help. See you can have all the guns you want but of you are caught off guard or outnumbered your guns do very little except give more weapons to the bad guys.

    January 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. d

    Ithink the 2nd ammendment needs to be stronger. Now I'm no right wing extremist but think about it. Illeagalweapons find there way into the wrong hands everyday. If every citizen had a gun then someone would think twice about useing it knowing that they will be shot as well. I'd rather be caught with a gun then in a bad situation without it.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. d armstrong

    @ deep; what u have failed to tell everyone is that that tax increase will apply to any1 making 200,000+ a year. You're talking about people who are probably still paying off the student loans they took on to get there. Half the nursing community, half the lawyers, all pilots, stagehands at Carnigie Hall, and even some truck drivers fall into that category. Whatever happened to equality? Tax everyone equally. I'm a waiter at a local restaurant. I support a flat tax, the 2nd amendment, the consitution

    January 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
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