Has it become fashionable to lash out at police? Law enforcement advocates fear it’s a growing trend, the Detroit News reports. Whether they’re being shot at, cussed at, zapped with a stun gun or denied service at a restaurant, many police officers in Detroit and across the U.S. feel they’re being disrespected more than ever.
“Everybody thinks it’s cool to not talk to the police, and to hate the police,” said Detroit officer Ki’Juan Anderson. “The bad guys love this. A criminal will commit a crime, and nobody wants to tell us what happened. We’re trying to help them … and they say, ‘Get off my porch; I hate the police.’”
Anderson, of the department’s Gang Intelligence unit, was in the crew of Kenneth Steil in September, when Steil was killed in a shootout with a carjacking suspect. Since then, 10 Detroit officers have been shot in the line of duty, while shots were fired at other officers.
Nationwide, 143 officers were killed on duty last year, the most in five years, says the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. There was a 30 percent increase in line-of-duty deaths in the first six months of this year over the same period in 2016. Last Friday, six officers in Pennsylvania and Florida were shot, two fatally, in a few hours.
“Most citizens are supportive, but we have a criminal element that has no reservations (about) shooting at cops,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. “They buy into the … anti-police rhetoric and they feel they have a green light to attack officers.”
Said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard: “I think this is one of the more challenging times that I’ve seen in this profession and I’ve been in it a long time. I think there’s a false narrative out there that police officers are quick to use force, quick to violence, quick to improper behavior.”