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Police at risk in traffic stops

Routine traffic stops. No more are there routine traffic stops.

The police are under attack, under assault when they make routine traffic stops. The Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., states that vehicle stops accounted for 63 percent of police officer deaths; their study covered the years 2010-14.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund keeps records and states that 67 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty this year through July 20; that’s an 8 percent increase over the same period last year, when 62 officers were killed.

In May, in Auburn, Massachusetts, the headline was “Massachusetts Cop Killed During Routine Traffic Stop.” The sub-headline stated “Gunman Who Killed Auburn Cop Had Attacked Police Before.” Then you find out there was “an extensive prior conviction record.” Sometimes, they will list the specific offenses. In this case, the extensive criminal record included attacks on police officers in the past, including grabbing an officer’s uniform and pulling him into a car with a large pit bull inside, and his most recent arrest for driving with a revoked license. The Auburn criminal had 76 cases since 1999. His right to operate a motor vehicle had not been valid since 2002. These criminals don’t care about the law; they are going around driving cars.

Most recently, two police officers were shot in San Diego; one died. Officer Jonathan DeGuzman, who died, had suffered stab wounds back in 2003 when he made a traffic stop; he pulled over the driver for speeding. In June 2013, DeGuzman was one of five officers who shot and killed a felon. That felon was looking to shoot police. In the incident when DeGuzman was killed, a second suspect is being held on an arrest warrant out of Anaheim, and that second suspect has a criminal record which includes convictions for burglary, escape, methamphetamine and illegal weapons possession.

With all of these arrests, convictions and imprisonments, why are they paroled? Why are they out in mainstream society? If the law declares that they need to be imprisoned for their crimes, then keep them in jail.

Don’t call it a correctional institution. Because there are so many of them, nothing has been corrected. They repeat their criminal behavior, they continue adding to their criminal record.

Enforce the law and protect our police. They cannot just proceed with a routine traffic stop. They need riot gear to protect them against these armed criminals. The life of the police officer is at stake.

Blue Lives Matter.

Cheryl Bass
Spotswood

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