Police in Chicago launched an all-out manhunt Wednesday for a suspect who shot two officers in a surprise attack as they sat in their patrol car.
Such attacks are becoming disturbingly common. And the increase in the attacks can be traced to a speech by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Flash back to a sun-baked evening in late July 2015 at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Miami.
It was one year after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which was followed by several other high-profile police shootings of young black suspects that received wall-to-wall coverage in the national media. Farrakhan wooed a standing-room-only audience at the church in Miami with the following words:
“Death is sweeter than to continue to live and bury our children, while white folks give the killer hamburgers.
“Death is sweeter, than watching us slaughter each other, to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Yes, death is sweeter.
“The Quran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says, ‘Retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain.’ Retaliation is a prescription from God, to calm the breast of those whose children have been slain.
“So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling.”
Ambush-style attacks on U.S. police officers soared 167 percent in 2016, hitting a 10-year high. So far this year, the disturbing cycle of attacks has not relented.
Police were ambushed Tuesday night in Chicago and Sunday night in Detroit, following an ambush on Miami cops just a few weeks ago.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Fund, which tracks officer shootings, the number of cops shot in the line of duty spiked 56 percent in 2016, but the number of ambush-style attacks was even more troubling, up 167 percent, soaring from six in 2015 to 21 in 2016.
And the trend has continued into 2017.
On Wednesday, Chicago police were searching for suspects who sneaked up on two officers in a patrol car and opened fire. One was struck in the back, the other in the hip, and they were in serious but stable condition at a Chicago hospital.
On Sunday night in Detroit, two officers responded to a domestic call. When they arrived to knock on the door, 46-year-old James Edward Ray, who reportedly had no connection to the domestic call, opened fire on them, hitting one officer in the back of the head before Ray was shot dead by the fallen officer’s partner. That officer remains in a medically induced coma, fighting for his life. He was the eighth officer shot in Detroit since September of last year.
Just over a month ago, on March 28, two officers in Miami-Dade County were shot in an unprovoked ambush outside an apartment complex while they were on routine surveillance.
Officials said there were six suspects described as 17- to 18-year-old black youths wearing hooded sweatshirts when the shooting occurred, according to WSVN. An arrest was made March 30 of the alleged shooter, Damian Antwan Thompson, 19, who faces attempted murder charges.
According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, four factors define an ambush attack:
- An element of surprise;
- Assailants who conceal themselves, their weapons or their intents;
- The suddenness of the attack;
- A lack of provocation.
The most high-profile cop shooting took place last July when a lone black man, Micah Johnson, gunned down five police officers and wounded seven others in a sniper attack at El Centro College in Dallas County, Texas. That was the bloodiest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
The Dallas shooting was followed a week later, on July 18, by another gruesome ambush, when Gavin Long shot and killed three more cops in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
An internal FBI investigation into the spike of attacks on law enforcement has determined that revenge, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the media’s assault on police shootings, and criticism from politicians, is the driving force that motivates a “majority” of those targeting the badge.
“Law enforcement officials believe that defiance and hostility displayed by assailants toward law enforcement appears to be the new norm,” said the internal report stamped “For Official Use Only.”
The four-page report provided to Secrets said an anti-police wave following the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is what drove most of those accused of killing law enforcement officers in 2016.
Police say it’s as though someone declared a revenge war on them, and their lives no longer matter.
While few media are reporting it, the anti-cop sentiment may have been fueled by the Obama administration and its Eric Holder/Loretta Lynch-led Justice Department, as well as radical movements within the U.S. such as Black Lives Matter and Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam organization.
Instead of condemning the violence unconditionally, Lynch’s department sought to negotiate so-called consent agreements with nearly two-dozen local police departments, essentially putting them under federal control. The rules of engagement in these departments have been radically changed, and not in favor of the cops.
Then you have the war of words being ratcheted up by black leaders, including one tirade by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that appeared to skirt the line of what is considered free speech.
In a visiting sermon delivered at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Miami on July 30, 2015, Farrakhan urged his followers to kill those responsible for killing young black youths. He never said the word “cop” or “officer,” but the message came through loud and clear, say those who support law enforcement.
In August 2015 WND inquired with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of South Florida about the legality of Farrakhan’s sermon. The U.S. Attorney’s Office responded with an email saying the preacher’s instruction for his followers to “rise up” and “stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain that we are feeling” fell squarely within the realm of protected First Amendment speech and did not cross any legal boundaries.
Watch Farrakhan’s July 30, 2015 speech in which he urged blacks to ‘rise up’ and kill white cops:
Not long after that, in December 2015, the Muslim Brotherhood-connected Council on American Islamic Relations director Nihad Awad spoke at the annual joint convention of the Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North Americ. Awad said “Black lives matter is our matter,” and Muslims should adopt the movement as one of their own.
At the same convention, Khalilah Sabra, executive director of MAS’ Immigrant Justice Center, said Muslims should work to stir revolution in America.
“Basically, you are the new black people of America,” Sabra told Muslims in the audience gathered in Chicago. “We are the community that staged a revolution across the world,” she said, referring to the so-called Arab Spring revolts. “If we can do that, why can’t we have that revolution in America?”
Many rank-and-file officers say the Black Lives Matter protests and public outcry over police shootings have created a climate in which some people feel justified in attacking police.
In New York, police told the Trace that the mood on the streets has grown more hostile since the 2014 death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died after police placed him in a choke hold while arresting him. About five months later, two New York police officers were shot and killed in Brooklyn while sitting in their patrol car.