“(Fulton County Assistant Police Chief Gary) described the situation as an ambush, saying the officers ‘were trying to do their job, they were trying to protect this neighborhood from someone who was shooting. And they had no other option but to do their job. And the way it appears to me, they were ambushed without warning.’ …
“Green was a veteran officer with nearly 22 years of service. He is survived by his parents and his four sons.”
Thursday, March 5: Officer Robert Wilson III, while on duty and in uniform, walked into a game store to purchase a gift for his son. Two men robbed the store, and shot and killed Officer Wilson. According to CNN: “Wilson was standing at the counter across from employees at the GameStop store when two brothers, Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams, walked in carrying guns, police said.
“They allegedly stuck up the store with at least five patrons and two employees inside.
“‘They said they thought it was going to be an easy target,’ said police spokesman Capt. James Clark. … Wilson confronted (the suspects), and a firefight broke out, police said.
“The officer, an eight-year veteran, stepped away from others in the store to keep them out of the crossfire, police said after watching the store’s security camera footage.
“He was a hero and a warrior, Clark said. “He fought until the very, very end, firing at both of them.”… Within 30 to 40 seconds, 50 shots fell, he said. …
“Wilson was 30 years old. In addition to his son, he leaves behind a 1-year-old daughter. His son turns 10 on Monday. The game was also going to be a birthday present.”
Saturday, March 7: Police Officer Brennan Rabain was killed while trying to make a traffic stop on a speeding driver. The officer lost control of his squad car and crashed into a fence. According to the local NBC affiliate news: “Police are searching for anyone who may have witnessed a crash that killed a Prince George’s County police officer. … Rabain had been off duty, but when he initiated the traffic stop, he went back on duty, police said.” Rabain, 27, had been with the department less than two years, and leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter.
Tuesday, March 10: Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells, 27, was killed in a shootout near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as he attempted to apprehend a fugitive accused of killing a brother and sister.
According the Associated Press: “The fugitive, Jamie D. Croom, 31, was shot and taken to a hospital. … Croom was wanted in the shooting deaths of a brother and sister in New Roads, Louisiana. …
“The shootout took place in Scotlandville, an area north of Baton Rouge. A task force made by federal Marshals was serving an arrest warrant when the shootout happened. … Croom, a resident of New Roads, had a lengthy criminal record, (local Sheriff Beauregard) Torres said. ‘He was a dangerous criminal,’ Torres said. ‘It was a very high price to pay for this warrant to bring this man into custody. It was a very, very high price.’
“Wells was a graduate of East Central High School in Hurley, Mississippi, and of Jackson State University. ‘He was a tremendous student,’ East Central Principal James Hughey told WLOX-TV. ‘He was very well liked.’ … Wells’ father, Obie Wells Sr., is a retired Jackson County sheriff’s deputy. His brother, Obie Wells Jr., is an officer with the Jackson Police Department in the state capital.
“‘His dad was so proud of him for being a U.S. marshal,’ (Mississippi state Rep. Manly) Barton said.” The day after his death, Wells’ wife — who is pregnant with the couple’s first child — learned the sex of their baby. She is having a boy, and she plans to name him Josie Wells, Jr.
Last year, according to the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 126 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers died in the line of duty in 2014 — although some deaths were attributed to health problems or traffic accidents. Fifty officers were killed by firearms, 15 of them in ambush attacks.
The memorial fund says that shootings against officers increased 50 percent in 2014. This total includes two NYPD officers killed in December in an ambush. The suspect, killed by police, had posted Internet messages that accused police of racism, threatened to kill officers and urged others to do the same.
Despite the widely publicized recent cases where cops killed blacks, new studies show cops — black and white — more reluctant to shoot a black suspect compared to a white suspect. Reasons are unclear, but fear of additional scrutiny — whether fair or not — might be a factor.
Suspects who kill cops, however, appear colorblind.
COPYRIGHT 2015 LAURENCE A. ELDER
Photo credit: NBC video screenshot
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder.