March 3, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) Los Angeles, CA — According to the Los Angeles Police Department, three men in ski masks opened fire on officers in South Los Angeles early Tuesday morning. The shooting comes just days after a video of LAPD officers killing an unarmed homeless man in Downtown Los Angeles went viral.
Police say no officers were hit in Tuesday’s shooting and that (in a surprising show of restraint) officers did not return fire. It is unclear how police were able to get the suspects into custody, but LAPD reports at least one of them was armed. There are currently conflicting stories as CBS Los Angeles reported at 6:40 AM that the men were searched and no weapon was found. Officers allegedly continued to search. At 6:46 AM, NBC Southern California reported the police claim that one man was armed (it is possible that story was updated to include this several hours later). Both articles featured only statements from police.
Though the details of the story are questionable (police not firing back-when that is usually their first resort-but being able to subdue all three suspects), the story itself is not. Discontent with law enforcement is at an all time high, especially in the Skid Row area where Sunday’s police shooting of ‘Africa’ happened.
LAPD came under literal fire in 2013 when former officer Christopher Dorner went on a shooting spree to avenge what he viewed as racism and injustice in the force. While Dorner died shortly after his rampage in a police stand-off and mysterious cabin fire, other instances of violence against officers have cropped up around the country. From Nevada to Pennsylvania, anger at police is growing. While violence is never laudable, it would be ignorant to pretend that such aggressive reactions to cops are unprovoked (even so, police are still killed more often by car accidents than murder).
For years, police have been abusing authority, taking lives and costing millions of dollars in the process. They killed over a 1,000 people last year, injuring and maiming countless others. There is little concrete data on their crimes because a lack of accountability engulfs the system from the bottom (police departments) all the way to the top (the justice system and federal government). They are given paid vacations while the thin blue line often protects them from facing punishment.
When citizens and protesters are abused but the authorities’ stranglehold on the justice system remains intact, it is understandable why some desperate individuals resort to violence. If law enforcement continues to ignore peaceful vocalizations of this legitimate problem, it is likely police violence and citizen retaliations against it will continue.
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