Last weekend, two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were shot multiple times in an unprovoked ambush by a man who appears to be a Black Lives Matter activist. One of the deputies shot was a 24-year-old man and the other was a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy. Both were new to the force, and are now fighting for their lives.
As if the shooting weren’t upsetting enough, its aftermath got worse: Black Lives Matter activists attempted to breach St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where the two officers were inside being treated. Activists also reportedly laughed at the wounded deputies while failing to offer any help, and issued a direct threat to police everywhere: “Y’all gonna die one by one.”
Americans who spent the summer virtue signaling their support for the Black Lives Matter movement were curiously silent following the weekend’s senseless violence. They were also curiously silent about the greater threats members of their movement were making against police. (So much for “silence is violence.”)
To be clear, no one is responsible for the attempted murder of the two LA deputies but the gunman himself. Also to be clear: black lives matter. Sometimes, it needs to be said. But the Black Lives Matter movement is so flagrantly dangerous that it’s now impossible to separate acts of violence committed by its supporters from the broader movement itself. The ambush of two LA deputies wasn’t the result of “one bad apple,” but rather, part of a larger effort to target and dehumanize police.
Everyone wants law enforcement officers to be held accountable for wrongdoing. Like all humans, police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us are not perfect. Their imperfections can come at great costs to the communities they serve, which is why we can all support certain reforms. But do these imperfections warrant the dehumanizing, violent rhetoric Black Lives Matter activists use to describe every police officer? Of course not. They warrant a conversation about meaningful, targeted reforms.
Despite the media’s best efforts to downplay some developments, these conversations are ongoing. Republicans, for their part, are not only on-board but in some cases, are leading the way.
On June 17, Sen. Tim Scott, (R-S.C.) introduced the JUSTICE Act, a bill that disincentives police chokeholds, collects data on no-knock warrants and makes lynching a federal crime. It uses federal grant dollars as leverage to encourage these reforms, while simultaneously respecting the reality that policing ultimately falls under local and state control. It uses federal grant dollars as leverage to encourage these reforms, while simultaneously respecting the reality that policing ultimately falls under local and state control. Democrats, in an attempt to “own” this issue, refused to even debate Scott’s proposal on the Senate floor.
Sen. Rand Paul, who was surrounded by protesters following the Republican National Convention last month, introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act on June 11, which bans federal law enforcement officers from carrying out a warrant “until after the officer provides notice of his or her authority and purpose.” It also blocks state and local law enforcement agencies that receive Justice Department funding from carrying out warrants that do not require the officer involved “to provide notice of his or her authority and purpose before forcibly entering a premises.”
Protesters who accosted Paul and his wife shouted “No Justice, No Peace” and “Say Her Name,” referencing Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT who was shot multiple times on March 13 when police officers burst into her Louisville apartment using a no-knock warrant. None of these protesters appeared to have been aware that Paul was indeed, seeking justice for Breonna Taylor. Perhaps if they did, there would be less violence and unrest.
Last weekend’s attack on law enforcement made clear what many of us have been warning all along: dehumanizing, extremist rhetoric is engrained in the Black Lives Matter movement. What started as the slandering of law enforcement has now reached the next logical step: threats and attempted murder of police. Before things get worse, let’s hope the movement’s supporters realize that violence and hate isn’t the exception to Black Lives Matter—its the rule. And it does nothing to advance real reform.
Join millions of Americans who support safety and security, and who want to restore order, civility, and peace to our communities. Sign IWF’s petition here.