I’ve said many a time that I know law enforcement is a tough job. Being a police officer means living under a microscope that most people don’t really understand. Every mistake can become a huge deal in the media, as we’ve seen play out before.
And let’s not forget that because of how officers have to operate, some of those mistakes can be fatal for someone.
But then there’s the fact that a large number of people are willing to kill police officers simply because of the uniform they wear.
In fact, during a 48-hour span, six police officers across the nation were shot.
Police and law enforcement officers continue to be the victims of a violent trend, as six officers were the victims of gun violence over just the past two days, prompting a somber post from a Michigan sheriff.
Mike Bouchard, the Oakland County sheriff, took to Twitter late Thursday to post a photo of the condolence letters that his office plans to send out to other police agencies. He said the letters are intended “for first responders who died in the line of duty in January.”
“And unfortunately, another three officers were shot today in Houston. Prayers,” he posted.
Three police officers were hospitalized during a separate shooting incident in Houston, after a suspect shot one officer in the foot, another in the leg, and a third officer in the arm, all of whom were hospitalized in stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital, authorities said.
The shootings targeting law enforcement officers on Thursday were not isolated in Houston.
Two more police officers were shot Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis; a Milwaukee sheriff’s deputy was shot several times during a traffic stop Wednesday evening; and, three more police officers were shot in Houston on Thursday, in separate instances, authorities said.
Now, as bad as this is, it’s not necessarily indicative of anything.
Yes, a number of officers were shot in a very short period of time, but sometimes, things happen in clusters without it really being part of any signficant trend over the longer period of time.
It’s why you can have a cluster of mass shootings, but the overall rate of such shootings not actually increase.
That said, it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye out to see if this does develop to be part of something significant. After all, we’ve had two years of increased anti-police sentiment. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that anti-police sentiment has spawned into something far worse than unkind words and misguided policies.
Yet people wanting officers dead isn’t exactly new, either. That’s been a thing for decades.
We’ll have to keep an eye on the trend and see if this is something far more concerning than an officer being shot normally is, but one shouldn’t get too worked up over a brief snapshot like this. That’s easier said than done just days after two officers were shot, one killed, in New York City this past weekend.