On Sunday evening, a driver pulled up next to a St. Louis police sergeant’s SUV and shot the officer twice in the face. The attack came only half an hour after a drive-by shooter shot a police officer in the shoulder in Sanibel, Florida, as the officer sat in his patrol car.
At least those two officers survived. San Antonio police officer Benjamin Marconi was not so fortunate. Earlier that same day, a man shot Marconi in the head, killing him as he sat in his patrol car writing somebody else a ticket.
Those three shootings, plus another one that happened later that night in Gladstone, Missouri, only vindicate the warnings of Jeff Roorda, a retired St. Louis-area police chief and nationally recognized police spokesman.
“It’s just more evidence of what I’ve been saying for two-and-a-half years,” Roorda told WND. “The war on police is a very real thing. The Ferguson effect is a very real thing. And this is what happens when you glorify acts of violence and hate speech against law enforcement.”
Roorda outlines the conflict in his new book, “The War on Police: How the Ferguson Effect is Making America Unsafe.”
The “Ferguson effect” refers to the idea that the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, made police around the country hesitant to use force for fear of retaliation from politicians, thus leading to an increase in crime.
Roorda draws hope from the election of Donald Trump, believing it was a referendum in favor of law enforcement. He noted Trump was vocally supportive of law enforcement during the campaign while the Democrats brought “the mothers of would-be cop killers” onto the prime-time stage at their party convention to speak about police brutality and racism.
However, the former officer admits Trump’s election may have raised anti-police sentiments even higher, just as it has touched off a storm of protests and violence all over the country.
“This social upheaval that we’ve seen in the two weeks following the election keeps the thermostat set on high when we ought to be trying to figure out a way to crank it down,” Roorda said. “Elections are a demonstration of the will of the people, and the people of this country voted for the candidate who said that law enforcement ought to be respected, law enforcement ought to be protected and law and order ought to be maintained.”
The shooting of the St. Louis police sergeant happened at about 7:30 p.m. central Sunday. A driver pulled up next to the sergeant’s SUV as he sat in traffic and opened fire. Police said the 46-year-old sergeant was shot twice in the face, and he remained in critical but stable condition and was expected to survive.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the sergeant said a car pulled up beside his SUV, and he thought the driver was going to ask him a question. However, the sergeant soon saw the muzzle flashes and felt broken glass as the shots barreled through his window and struck his head.
Early Monday morning, a suspect in the shooting was killed in a shootout with undercover officers.
Meanwhile, in Sanibel, Florida, police took a suspect into custody Sunday night just hours after a city police officer was shot while he sat in his patrol car after finishing a routine traffic stop. The officer was taken to a hospital, treated for his wounds and later released.
In San Antonio, Det. Marconi was sitting in his squad car, writing a ticket when another car pulled up from behind. The driver got out, walked up to Marconi’s window and shot him twice in the head. He then retreated to his car and drove away, and police had yet to find him as of Monday afternoon.
“One of the things that I talk about a lot is two-man cars,” he said. “A lot of these situations wouldn’t happen if we had two officers in a car together, and some of the bad outcomes wouldn’t happen, either. I think that it’s very likely that Michael Brown would be alive today if Darren Wilson had been in a two-man car. I just don’t know that Michael Brown would have decided to attack Darren if there was a second officer there. Now he’d be behind bars, but at least he’d be alive, and we wouldn’t have had this false narrative take hold that has now gripped this anti-police movement across the country.”
Late Sunday night in Gladstone, Missouri, a suspect fired multiple shots at police as they chased him on foot, trying to take him into custody. The shooter had been the passenger in a vehicle the officers pulled over for a traffic violation, but he got out of the car and ran. When the officers caught up to him, the suspect produced a handgun and fired the shots. One officer suffered an injured hand, and the suspect was killed.
Roorda suggests America can finally end the cycle of violence against police officers with a little honesty.
“We’ve got to be honest about what’s happening in this country and quit pretending like cops are victimizing innocent kids on the street,” he declared. “It’s just the opposite. People are turning deadly violence against police all the time. When it ends badly and the officer is injured or killed, everyone crosses their hands and says, ‘Aw, that’s too bad.’ But when it ends badly and a suspect is killed, we pretend like something else happened.
“The two outcomes come from the same situation – a deadly attack on law enforcement – and that’s what we need to be honest about.”