Just two weeks before the brutal assassination in Houston of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth, armed New Black Panthers protesting the death of Sandra Bland shouted, “You’re gonna stop doing what you’re doing, or we will start creeping up on you in the darkness!”
The threat was made by the Panthers as they marched outside the Waller County jail, where Bland was found hanged in her cell. The jail is located in Hempstead, a small community just outside the Houston area. Exactly what the police were to stop doing was not specified, nor was what would be done as Panthers crept up on police.
But what is clear is that on the night of August 28, Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth was simply pumping gas into his patrol vehicle at a convenience store, when a black male, Shannon Miles, allegedly shot him dead with a pistol.
Readers might recall the efforts made by the New Black Panthers outside a Philadelphia polling station to intimidate certain citizens into not voting during the 2008 elections. Eric Holder, the U.S. attorney general at the time, declined to pursue civil rights violation charges against the racist group.
Regardless of whether the threats made by the New Black Panthers and the alarming increase in unprovoked attacks upon law-enforcement officers are related, the country is now witnessing a virtual war on the police by the criminal elements of society.
Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, a 30-year veteran of the Fox Lake, Illinois, police force (north of Chicago), was killed yesterday. A massive manhunt is underway for three suspects, two white and one black. Officer Gliniewicz, the married father of four sons, was to have retired this month.
State Representative Barbara Wheeler of Fox Lake called for prayer for the officer’s family and other officers in harm's way, noting that 11 police officers have lost their lives in the country “since August 20th alone.”
As reported by The New American, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke cast blame for the epidemic of police killings directly on President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder, even calling them high-profile accessories to the crimes. Clarke contended that the racially tinged rhetoric against law enforcement officers by the Obama administration has been a direct cause of the recent increase in attacks upon the police.
In St. Paul, Minnesota, Police Federation President Dave Titus expressed similar disgust at a recent protest march to the gates of the state fair. Though the gathering was peaceful, the rhetoric of marchers was intense, as they chanted in unison, “Pigs in a blanket — fry 'em like bacon.”
Titus expressed amazement that the chant came just hours after the murder of the deputy in Texas. “I don’t think chanting or singing what’s basically promoting killing police officers is peaceful,” he asserted.
Black Lives Matter organizer Rashad Turner defended the inflammatory rhetoric. “It definitely wasn’t a threat. I don’t know if they would have received it differently if we would have said 'on a stick.' We’re there chanting, using our voices.”
In an ironic twist, the protest marchers received police protection.
Last month in Memphis, Tennessee, officer Sean Bolton spotted an illegally parked car. After pulling up in front of the vehicle and shining his lights on it, he began to approach the automobile. Suddenly, a passenger confronted Bolton and shot him several times. The assailants then drove off, leaving the officer at the scene. He later died in a local hospital.
Twenty-four law-enforcement officers have now been killed this year in non-accidental gun deaths in the line of duty.
While police officers and deputy sheriffs must always be alert to possible violence in the line of duty, there has been a sharp escalation of attacks since the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, last year, in which a young black man was killed by a white police officer. It is to be expected that race-baiting opportunists such as Al Sharpton will use such incidents in an attempt to stir up discord, and that open racists such as the New Black Panthers will even call for violence.
But what is especially shameful is that most of the anti-local police rhetoric is originating from powerful politicians across the country, including President Obama and his former attorney general.
Update (Nov. 7, 2015): On November 4, many weeks after this article was published, officials said that Fox Lake, Illinois, police lieutenant Joseph Gliniewicz was not murdered, as had earlier been reported, but had instead shot himself in a “carefully staged suicide.” (Before being found dead, Gliniewicz had radioed dispatch that he was being pursued by two white males and one black male.) Investigators speculate that Gliniewicz feared that crimes they say he committed could come to light. The Chicago Tribune observed that the November 4 announcement upended “the portrayal of … Gliniewicz as a hero tragically cut down in the line of duty as he neared retirement.”