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. trident

    I'm always amazed at how many people accept this argument: "if we make guns illegal, then only the criminals will have them..."

    Having a gun does not make you less likely to be shot, and the line between criminal and law-abiding citizen is not a clear as some of you seem to think.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • sburg

      so what your saying is either way ill get shot right? well i for one would like to shoot back and defend myself if u don't then that's your problem. no one will take my right to defend myself.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • trident

      The fact is, when people have guns, people get shot. Pretty simple. More guns does not make for more safety. A right to self-defense for one person is an opportunity to attack with deadly force for another person. Unfortunately, there is no reliable way to predict how people will use a gun therefore, for the good of society they should be banned.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex K

      Whatever your statistics, I too would rather have a gun in my house (locked up in my combination safe) when the burglar or murderer tries to break in. The argument against legal gun ownership is like saying that we shouldn't have cars because there are so many accidents. Also, gun control did not reduce violent crime in Australia. I would rather live in a community where common, law-abiding citizens could own and carry guns.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Every criminal commits a first crime. Good people still lose their minds sometimes. The less guns, the better... period. That's not debatable.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • sburg

      being American is about having the right to fight back against all enemies foreign or domestic. by the way even our founding fathers saw the right as being self evident.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TOGCIADC

      Criminals already have all the guns... they are called COPS!!!

      January 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • NickA

      Your actually wrong. Studies have proven that in states with concealed carry laws, crimes go down because the cowards who prey on scared people don't know whether or not they may be armed. 96% of the time in that situation the firearm only needs to be brandished and not even shot to scare the attacker away. Get your facts straight.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • nuffsed

      AlexK, I hope that combination safe is in a real handy spot that you can get to in a state of panic and confusion. I also hope anyone who breaks into your house isn't armed, because if they are, you may be maimed or dead before you even step a foot out of your bedroom.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • trident

      NickA, i think you missed the point. How do you know if someone carrying a gun has it just to scare off attackers or plans to do some attacking?

      January 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sburg

      u can try but unfortunately none of u will succeed in taking any of my weapons without u first using one and making u look like a hypocrite in the end. unfortunately there is no good non lethal self protection so ill stick with my guns.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      This is to Paul. So when a good person "loses" their mind and breaks into my house because they don't have enough food to feed their family, I shouldn't be able to defend myself??

      January 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sara

    Guns are running lose in wild west again, going back in 17th century 😦

    January 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyhouston

      The real West or the Hollywood John Wayne make believe wild west?
      The one your talking bout never existed and the real one wasn't as bad as you claim.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seraphim0

      17th century? Eh... histronics fail. The 17th century would mean the 1600's. The most popular excepted use of 'wild west' would be from the 1800's. Aka, the 19th century. Thanks for playing.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seraphim0

      Dear self- 'accepted,' not excepted. Good going.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I strongly support the rights of every citizen to carry a breech-loading musket, just as the founding fathers intended.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. THE TRUTH

    THATS WHAT THOSE COPS GET.....WHAT ABOUT THE ALL THE INNOCENT PEOPLE THEY KILL FOR NOTHING??? ALL THOSE PIGS HAVE TO SAY IS "I FEARED FOR MY LIFE"!! THATS ALL THEY HAVE TO SAY...THEN THEY ARE OFF THE HOOK!! TIME IS COMING FOR MERITOCRACY!!! GET READY!! STUPID PIGS!!

    January 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • HAHAHA

      You really think you are smart? Who you gonna call when you get slapped across the face for running off at the mouth one day??? Right a "pig". Man I bet you are a coward when arent behind your computer huh?

      January 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobT

      If you're trying to make a point you need to identify who you are talking to. Who ARE you referring to?

      January 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • wisco

      just read your comment but didnt see what you were responging to...all i will say is that there are a good percentage of people that dont call anyone when in trouble they deal with it. thats all i'll say.

      January 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • lazer007

      ya there's some with guts and then there are the ones with notheing but gut

      January 25, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
    • momfurst

      And you I bet you call yourself an American. What a damn shame.

      January 25, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Tyhouston

      The innocent people they kill for nothing? Oh you mean the waves of young men who think if they pretend to have a gun in their pocket the cops won't come near them and can't shoot them cause they can't see a gun? Which is false, pretend you have a gun and the cop is certainly allowed to shoot you. Careful what you say on this, it's amazing how many so called innocent "I didn't do nothing" people are harmed just cause they fool up in front of the police, if a Swat team tells you to get out of a car, you get out. Not flash your high beams and accelerate and stop erraticly...you'll get shot. If they say please come over here, don't pretend like you have a gun, if a cop car drives by, don't pretend you did something wrong with you 8 buddies on the corner rapping to each other and bolt in a full run like your something special.

      As I see it, the more people think they don't have to follow the law the worse it gets. If you haven't done anything, pretending like you did then saying HA I'm gonna sue has never done anything but get you thrown in jail, fined and a lawsuit that won't get you paid.

      So Innocent my behind...

      January 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      What the heck you are yapping, idiot?

      January 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annette

      WHAT

      January 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ike

      I bet those "stupid pigs" will be the first people you call when something bad is happening to you or your family...

      January 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jailer

      My thoughts exactly.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jailer

      @Ike my thoughts exactly

      January 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • davesmith

      stupid ike, that dont give a poilce officer the right to abuse people because it dangerous in america. lets try this. police officer respect people until they are giving a reason not to

      January 24, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tim NJ

    I think you mean having a gun doesn't guarantee you won't be shot. It certainly does make you less likely to be shot...that's why police officers carry them.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Carlos

    Media is really trying to push the agenda here... This is not news, there are lots of bad people in our society. It just shows that people need the ability to defend themselves now more than ever. Why in the world anyone would see an increase in violence and danger as a reason to disarm the law abiding citizens is beyond me. People need to be nice and respect eachother... expect the best of people, but prepare for the worst...

    January 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candid One

      You did notice that this article is not about unarmed civilians being targeted? Cops–with guns–are the targets. Some of this might be "suicide by cop" but not all of it. Also, carrying a gun doesn't protect the innocent bystanders who get in your line of fire.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • metoo

      I agree that people should try to be courteous and respect others. But I have to admit I have stopped expecting the best of people. I got tired of consistently being disappointed. Expecting the best of the majority of humans on this planet is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. blind american

    When you finish the cat for dinner because your SS check hasn't come in 6 months you'll know why we have guns.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candid One

      You ate the cat instead of hocking the gun for food? Lucky cat.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • societyready

      A lot of society's eat cats, and dogs for that matter. Maybe hunting the strays for food isn't such a bad idea. After all, that seems to be where we're headed if we don't get a decent jobs bill passed. The tax credit thing didn't work at all. Now the rich have more of our money, and we're taking on more debt.

      Don't sell the gun, just buy more ammo and look for more cat recipe's online.

      http://catrecipes.com/recipes/thaichic.html

      January 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nik

    Reason to have a country GUN FREE completely. GIve them rubber bullets, paper sprays for security or protection or what ever excuse they have to get a deadly gun. Having some guns around is like having Nukes in unknown countries like Afghan or Somalia (just like those idiots, poor or unintelligent having guns in america). So No Guna = more probable Peace then Some Guns.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Make a country gun free completely? Not remotely possible. Oh, and there were murders long before guns were invented.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SoCalDave727

    Maybe if the cops stopped brutalizing the people they're supposed to protect and serve they wouldn't get shot up. Just last week the LAPD shot an unarmed man. It's hard to sympathize when the cops act the way they do...

    January 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Numbaoneballa

      Well said, agreed.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • pbjgirl

      That blanket statement is pretty weak. What are the details of the unarmed person? Were they threatening or intimating they had a weapon? I work for 911 and I'll tell you that you should thank your lucky stars that officers are out there protecting and serving. You have no idea the amount of things that happen even in a small town during a single shift. If you did you would be scared sh**less. Do a police ride along or sit for a few hours at your local emergency communications center and then get back to me.

      To all of our LEO's, stay safe and thank you.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • dawn

      Yes, well said indeed. And no, it isn't just a blanket statement. Anymore, corrupt and brutal cops have become the norm rather then the exception. What many don't realize is the second amendment was created so the citizens could protect themselves from law enforcement when they become tyrannical. Police have become tyrannical.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luca

      Dawn, who was your social studies teacher? Malcolm X? The Second Amendment was created so the colonial governments could muster a citizen militia. I'm sure the Founding Fathers didn't foresee this fictional tyrannical police state you're imagining back int he 1700's. Get your facts straight before you present your ignorance for all to see.

      January 25, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Adam

    You know... part of me thinks this isn't a gun control issue, nor a people control issue. It's a governmental control issue. I think as our government has grown (tremendously), we have made some laws that have good intent... but are un-logical. You have too many things that are illegal that shouldn't be and there are punishments associated with them that shouldn't exist. You then have police officers that are torn between upholding the law or being ethical. Upholding the law pay the bills and being ethical can get you in trouble. People have become conditioned to the police officers being unethical in the name of upholding the "law" and you are seeing revolt. Although, I disagree with ever killing anyone for any reason other than self defense.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. eric

    GUNS DONT KILL PEOPLE! STUPID PEOPLE WITH GUNS DO!

    January 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • LW

      Haven't heard that one before. You left out the part about stupid people having easy access to guns that are only meant to be used as weapons of mass murder.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Eric....when you type in all caps, it is the blog equivalent of shouting. And just because you say something stupid louder, doesn't make it any less stupid.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Canadian

    From the outside looking in, the US has a serious problem. You project a lot of power around the world but you are crumbling from the inside. I don't think gun control is the immediate solution to your problem, indeed if I were to move to the US, my 1st stop would be a gun store and the next would be a target range. You problem from my viewpoint is your pervasive culture of fear and ignorance – average citizens are terrified of everything, their neighbours, their police force, their government, their president (I would guess that ~50% were afraid of Bush and the other 50% are now afraid of Obama) etc. Crime and violence is glorified in your media.

    Shake off the yoke of the military industrial complex that Patton warned you against, divert some of the money you spend on policing the world – building then destroying enemies – into education and leveling the gap between rich and poor. If you have an educated, responsible, engaged citizenry, they should each be able to own a nuke without any fear of them actually using it.

    When I was younger I was very conservative, and looked to the US for affirmation of my views. After visting American and Eurpean cities though, I see a huge disparity in fear and crime. It sickens me to look around and see some lazy SOB leaching off my hard-earned dollars, but I prefer to have those people lazy and content than lazy and gunning for your dollars.

    I hope it works out for you all, because if you do indeed crumble from the inside, it's going to make the world a very messy place for a very long period of time.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim NJ

      It sure is easy to stereotype "from the outside looking in".

      January 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • cp125

      you're right about everything, but I'm convinced we've already arrived at your last sentence and it'll be a very long time before anything changes.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Bronze

      Funny how our neighbor up north can see into our problems more clearly than we can under our very nose.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim NJ

      Canada has a murder rate of 2 per 100K people versus the US murder rate of 5 per 100K. 1/3 of murders in Canada are with a firearm. The US is 10X the population of Canada. We border Mexico ( a third world country)...you border us. Before you get all culturally superior you should consider that you have many gun murders each year despite strict gun control, you don't have the gang and drug traffic problems we do many of which are a byproduct of a porous border with Mexico. But all the drugs your countrymen consume most assuredly are trafficked through our great nation. (thanks for that). Lastly....the military industrial complex you speak off is what enabled Canada to afford such wonderful welfare programs...you didn't have to contribute as much to defense because your neighbor was the most powerful military in the world. You're welcome.

      January 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • GetCultured

      I love Canadians.... You're pretty much on point... Well, except for the fear part – we might be dumb as bricks, but we ain't never scared! We are however a very ignorant and self indulgent society though... As far as the future, we may bend a bit, but will never crumble. For some reason we are at our best as a nation in times of turbulence...

      January 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • metoo

      America = crap
      The rest of the world = Utopia

      I'd sure hate to see us mess that up as well.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian

      No insults or stereotyping intended, although it is a pretty simplistic view I presented. IMO, Americans are typically a very friendly and generous group of people, and not all that much different from us Canucks in most ways (except politics). As for the defense 'free ride', our history books show examples of the US quashing Canadian military advancements (e.g. Avro Arrow, 1st supersonic fighter in the world) because they weren't interested in having a well armed neighbour, friendly or not. Plus, much of the Cold War spending by the US was an over-reaction to a grossly exaggerated threat (sound familiar? Iraq maybe?). Guess who benefitted most from that? Defense contractors maybe?

      Finally, Canada is far from perfect, but I don't think our firearm murder rates are nearly as close as one of you suggested.

      Again, good luck with it all.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim NJ

      Canadian, Thanks for the reply. The stats i cited were sourced from Wikipedia....i believe the original source was the canadian govt. The figure was for 2006 but I believe the murder rate in canada has stayed approx flat across the last four years. Regards.

      January 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian

      Tim NJ,

      First, don't trust Wikipedia. Here's a link that does give similar data. http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/Statcan/85-002-XIE/0110185-002-XIE.pdf Per capita violent crime in the US is triple that of Canada.

      Drugs – we don't need to traffic through the US, we have lots of our own! Weed anyway. Coke etc. still comes in from elsewhere, but with all the coastline we have, and all the navy we don't have, most drugs probably are smuggled in direct, bypassing the US.

      Also, don't blame gang problems on your shared border with Mexico. That's one part of it, but we have gangs too – mostly due to lax immigration screening processes. We let in too many criminals and not enough law abiding citizens.

      But anyway, your point is right – Canada has much stricter gun control than the US does, but we still have our share of firearm offences. Criminals will always have guns, so what we have to try and do in both countries is reduce the number of criminals who think it's ok to stick a gun in someone's face.

      Someone else here made a point that citizens are sick of police brutatilty and corruption and are fighting back. Maybe so, and we'll soon see more of it here. The RCMP, as well as other police forces here, have the same problem – they treat citizens as the enemy, and citizens begin to see them as the enemy, which is the beginning of a vicious cycle that can lead to no good. Police forces should be well trained and well funded, but they should also be severely dealt with for cases of brutality and corruption.

      January 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ant

    police know the dangers of the job when they take it. Yes it's tragic but that's what they signed up for. They became officers to arrest criminals and that's what these people are. Sorry the job isn't all drunk stops and seat belt tickets

    January 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kimberly W.P.

    I think it would be reasonable to require a person to have a psych evaluation if they would like to own a firearm. At least if they do go on a killing spree, the insanity plea will be thrown out. Right now, in GA, I can go to a pawn shop, consent to a background check, and in about thirty minutes be able to carry out my own personal vendetta. A license isn't even required. And frankly the US 2nd Amendment needs some work. Maybe if it were a proper sentence there wouldn't be the confusion as to whether we have the right to bear arms, or whether we have the right to a militia to bear arms in lieu of private citizens going awol in their own minds.

    But in regards to this article, they could have filled this space with something more newsworthy. I do not believe that police men and women should have special attention because they were or almost were shot. Yes, they are sworn to protect the American citizen and that should mean something. It means something, but not as much as it used to. The police is made of people just like the average Joe. Some of them like their jobs, but many of them don't. Some of them are honest, but some of them will lie and steal and do drugs just like those in lockup. At the end of the day, it is just a job. I don't hate law enforcement, though I do dislike them for the hypocrisy that abounds in their field. The article talks about how dangerous it was in 24 hours for a few cops; well, how dangerous has it been for a few of us average citizens? I respect the cops that actually want to be cops, but they appear to be few and far between.

    January 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sonia

    This is awful. My prayers are with the slained officer's families. This causes great concern because there seems to be no boundaries and no respect for public service. The entire country should be outraged at the continued assault on our public servants. Unfortunately, my cry is no solution. But, I am sick to my stomach over this trend. Is the United States of America coming undone? Has our civility faded to a whisper?

    January 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. john

    Out of F%$^ controll......failing society........

    January 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
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