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Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.
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Patrol

America's Turning Point – The War on Police

The law enforcement community is under attack, and this "Officer-directed Violence" needs to stop.

September 01, 2015  |  by Ron Martinelli

Shannon J. Miles is charged with the murder of Deputy Darren Goforth (Right). (Photo: Harris County Sheriff)
Shannon J. Miles is charged with the murder of Deputy Darren Goforth (Right). (Photo: Harris County Sheriff)

Let's see a show of hands. Every one of you who recognizes these names, raise 'em up. Michael Brown? Freddie Gray? OK. Now how about Darren Goforth, Steven Vincent, Rafael Ramos, and Wenjian Liu? No hands? That's not all that surprising to me as a forensic criminologist and police expert.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past year, you would know that Michael Brown was the felony robbery suspect who assaulted and was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. This incident precipitated the forensically false "Hands up. Don't shoot!" narrative that led to nightly riots and the destruction of parts of the minority business district in that town.

Freddie Gray, as most of us know, was the drug dealing street person in Baltimore, Md., who resisted arrest and died in police custody quite possibly as a result of banging his head against the steel bolted walls of a police transport van. To date, the autopsy results show no direct linkage between Gray's injuries and police brutality. Yet, six Baltimore police officers have been indicted in his death. Again, anonymous "activist" looters pillaged and burned portions of that city's minority and elderly community.

Now for the name you may not be familiar with. Darren Goforth was the Harris County, Texas, deputy sheriff who was brutally executed this past weekend in an unprovoked and cowardly ambush by a suspect identified as Shannon Miles. Police arrested Miles shortly after the killing and so far he's not talking. Deputy Goforth and Shannon Miles had never met each other and no connection between them has been established. The media so far state that "the motive in the murder of Deputy Goforth is unknown." Are you kidding me?! Here's a motive for you: A war against police.

Make no mistake about it. The law enforcement community is under attack. Factually, more peace officers have been injured or killed this year alone than U.S. soldiers deployed overseas in the so-called "War on Terrorism." You didn't know this? Why not? What, you may ask, is causing this spike in what I refer to as "Officer-Directed Violence?" Well, I'll tell you.

As a retired cop and now a forensic and behavioral expert, I have investigated hundreds of critical incidents resulting from violent encounters between citizens and police. In fact, my Forensic Death Investigations & Independent Review Team specializes in police-related death cases. Here is what I have found so far.

The anti-law enforcement Black Lives Matter movement, President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, jet-setting activists like Al Sharpton, and the uber liberal news media continue to forward a false message to an under- or misinformed public that the police are inherently racist and violent.

Rather than endorsing and championing a message that the law enforcement and urban crime plagued communities need to support each other, these actors seem to thrive on creating distrust, dissention, and division between police and the public. Of course, they all unanimously deny this is the case. So, what is to be believed? Let's make you the forensic investigator to analyze a couple of cases from this past week alone.

Last week Louisiana State Trooper Steven Vincent was deliberately ambushed, shot, and killed by Kevin Daigle, 54 years old, when the 44-year-old officer stopped to render assistance to Daigle, who had been involved in a single-car accident. So far, the investigation has revealed that Trooper Vincent and suspect Daigle had never met each other. On Trooper Vincent's dashcam audio, suspect Daigle is heard to taunt the hapless and mortally wounded trooper, saying, "You're lucky. You're going to die soon." Daigle was neither wanted nor mentally deranged. Nothing the trooper did provoked the shooting.

Trooper Steven Vincent (Photo: Louisiana State Police)
Trooper Steven Vincent (Photo: Louisiana State Police)

In case you might think that there is a racial theme to this article, Trooper Vincent and his murderer were both white. From what we are now learning about murder suspect Shannon Miles' cold-blooded murder of Texas Deputy Sheriff Goforth, like murder suspect Daigle, Miles was also neither wanted by police, nor mentally disturbed. It appears that Miles and Daigle just wanted to kill a cop. But why?

Unprovoked, deliberate, cold blooded murders are actually rare occurrences. Yet, the stories of murdered officers and the booking photos of their killers appear with far greater frequency on our TV screens now than in past years. We all know that police work is dangerous. For the most part, police are trained and train themselves in officer safety tactics. Responding to violent domestic disputes, armed robberies, gang fights, and active shooters is all part of the job. We accept it. It's what we do and what the public we serve expects from us. It's that simple.

However, this new dynamic of the wanton, willful, and cowardly assassination of peace officers by ambush is a paradigm shift in the dynamic of officer-directed violence. It is an act of urban terrorism that is no different than if an ISIS cell member had planted and exploded an IED under a police officer's patrol car. There is NO difference because at the end of the day you still have a dead officer that resulted from an unprovoked attack. The purpose of terrorism is not only to kill innocents, but to psychologically paralyze the masses by instilling fear and breaking down the will to fight. Creating fear and submission through random acts of violence is central to the behavioral profile of the terrorist.

Very few of those involved in activist movements such as "Black Lives Matter" are protesting police brutality, racism, or oppression. What they are protesting is the rule of law and police-community efforts to fight crime and violence to make communities drug, gang, and violence free. That is the real war in America right now. Don't be naïve. Our law enforcement officers comprise the "Thin Blue Line" of soldiers who separate and protect the innocent from the predatory criminals and the entitled, exploitative "users" who want a lawless society.

When our own President and his former Attorney General, who was the chief "law enforcement officer" in this nation, allege that police are insensitive racists, they empower false narrative activist groups like the Black Lives Matter movement. When black racists like Al Sharpton label police as thugs and the killers of black men, they fan the flames of racial discord and empower the police haters and predatory criminals to attempt to break down the rule of law. Just as perilous is when national, state, and municipal leaders criticize police for political reasons absent forensic proof; they not only polarize the law enforcement minority communities, but light the fuses of the mentally unbalanced "ticking time bombs" among us who take this dangerous rhetoric as a sign to commit future acts of violence against the police and their communities.

Do you think I'm offering a false narrative? Well then riddle me this. Do the last two names on my list, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, ring any bells? Well, they should. On December 21, 2014 Anti-Crime Unit NYPD Officers Ramos and Liu were peacefully sitting in their patrol car when they were suddenly approached and shot point blank in the head execution style by suspect Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 26.

NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu
NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu

Prior to assassinating the officers, Brinsley had ominously posted on his Instagram account, "I always wanted to be known for doing something right. I'm putting wings on pigs today." His angry rants on social media indicated that he was going to murder police officers in retaliation for the officer-involved shooting/killing of felony robbery and police assault suspect Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Like his murderous and cowardly criminal colleagues Miles and Daigle, Ismaaiyl Brinsley was neither a wanted man nor mentally unstable. So what would cause this man to believe in his heart that he was "doing something right?"

Why would anyone think that the cold-blooded killing of police officers simply sitting in their patrol car; pumping gas; or seeking to assist a motorist in distress as doing the right thing? I'll tell you why. It's in large part because national, state, or local leaders they respect; activists who refer to themselves as men of God; and a news media that they trust tell them that the police are violent racists who shoot and kill people including young black men who are somehow involved in innocent or benign criminal behavior. "Hands up. Don't shoot." If you don't believe me, then just watch the evening news where you will see protesting crowds of the Black Lives Matter movement walking down streets chanting, "Making bacon; pigs in a blanket." What do you think they are referring to but the assassination of police officers?

So for me and my brothers and sisters in law enforcement, it all comes down to this. America is at a critical turning point. We can either be destroyed by ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists from outside of our borders; or we can be destroyed from within by lawless criminal predators and society's violent criminal activists and police haters. You choose.

The independent monitoring, professional investigation, and criminal/civil prosecution of alleged and actual police misconduct is important in any free society. Peaceful protests forwarding this agenda is also appropriate, healthy, and needed. However, what is largely happening throughout our nation right now is neither.

It is a forensic fact that only an extremely small percentage of the 900,000 peace officers in this nation act outside the bounds of the law. Police also do a far better job removing bad officers from their ranks than the State Bars do nationally to rid the justice system of bad attorneys; or the commissions on judicial responsibility do in removing incompetent or corrupt judges. That's another fact.

Honest, hard-working police officers want the bad apples in law enforcement punished and gone as much as, or more than, you do. However, police officers will not tolerate any threats to their well-being and neither will those of us like me who support them.

So as a law enforcement community and as fellow Americans, my brothers and sisters in blue and khaki and I ask you now: Where do you stand?

Stop supporting politicians, the media, corrupt activists, and people you know who continue to forward false narratives that encourage and empower police hate, urban terrorism, and the destruction of the rule of law. Stand up for law enforcement. Decry the false, hateful, and anti-police rhetoric. Push back against politicians and activists who seek to polarize us. Work to strengthen the bridges of unity between police and the public by supporting law enforcement. If you don't take a positive stand to support your protectors, we will certainly see America slowly but surely destroyed from within. It's your choice. The real truth here is that ALL lives matter!

About the Author

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., is a forensic criminologist, Certified Medical Investigator, and police expert who directs the nation's only multidisciplinary Forensic Death Investigations & Independent Review Team. He is a Federal/State Courts subject matter expert specializing in police-involved death cases and has personally investigated over 200 officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.

This blog post originally appeared on Ron Martinelli's Website, http://www.DrRonMartinelli.com.


Comments (15)

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

kevCopAz @ 9/1/2015 6:10 PM

Excellant article. This reminds me of the sad time in the 60s when our Military went through this sort of unwarranted hatred that seemed to not only be accepted, tolerated but promoted in some parts of society. Remember that those sent to Vietnam were doing their duty, protecting us and were doing what was right (as LEOs do) Many were not even volunteers, but were instead drafted, and yet the vast, vast majority served with honor and distinction. But when they returned they two were harassed and spit upon (not shot)just because they wore the uniform of our country and represented the "establishment". Those same disgusting folks that treated our armed forces that way were free to do so due to the protection given them by those very same armed forces! Many of those same anti Military folks are now in power (the President, DOJ, Government, Media) both supporting and defending attacks on LEOs by allowing these anti cop types to do so without consequences. History is repeating, only worse!

Jon Retired LEO @ 9/1/2015 6:33 PM

Thank You Dr. Martinelli! I could not have said it any better myself and I know that you have much more training in this sort of thing that I could ever hope to have. I sit with Sheriff David Clarke who said that he was so pissed that it was hard to talk. Great Column Sir!

Charles Jastre @ 9/1/2015 10:48 PM

Class Action Lawsuit:You have the "right" to say anything, and ...injured parties have the right to be reimbursed for damages sustained as a result of the spread of malicious dis- information, outright lies, and incitement to violence. Sane Cities, States, and police unions should file a Class Action RICO lawsuit against the propaganda media, SEIU, "Black Lives Matter", the Black Panthers, Al Sharpton, George Soros, and all the other instigators and "celebrities", that inflamed the public with slanderous lies calculated to spread malicious dis- information, to promote discord, and to incite violence. The settlement should be at least treble damages for pain & suffering, deaths, injuries, and property damage.

Chief Steve Dulworth @ 9/2/2015 5:37 AM

An accurately written article. GOD bless the peacekeepers at home and abroad. Never lose faith in our mission. I continue to pray for peace and safety of my brothers and sisters and I ask for you to do the same. BE SAFE !!

DeputyJJG @ 9/2/2015 9:38 AM

This is an excellent article the lays it all out there. It is a shame that the very people who SHOULD read this will NOT. Thank you sir for writing it. 35 yr. Texas LEO.

Jon Retired LEO @ 9/2/2015 7:22 PM

Can't remember whether I commented on this post or not, but Excellent Commentary Dr. Martenilli. you have hit the nail on the head and driven it in perfectly. Brother and Sister Officers stay safe out there remembering a line from the old Hill Street Blues series that was lets be careful out there. Now more than ever watch your backs!!

John retired Iowa @ 9/2/2015 8:23 PM

I am tired of hearing politicians saying "What is good for the party." How about "what's good for America? Good law enforcement is good for America, and there doesn't seem to be any support from the top.

How many LEO's need to die at the hands of criminals before they wake up. From what I am seeing, it seems that violent crimes are on the increase. Is there any wonder that this is happening? If these criminals are allowed, dare I say encouraged, to confront LEO's in a violent and deadly manner, does the general public think that the violence will not touch their lives?

Rest in peace brothers. You have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect all of us.

Jean Pilling @ 9/3/2015 7:03 AM

I emailed my local news station standing in support of an officer that I felt acted within the law in regards to black teens that crashed a gated complex for a pool party. The news anchor said "you must be a police supporter" like it was a bad thing. I dared him to do an officer ride along so he could see for himself what our officers face on a daily. Needless to say he had no comment. Thank God in my community I am seeing a lot of support for our officers.

Ron Martinelli @ 9/7/2015 11:13 AM

Thanks to everyone for your comments on my article. I hope that you will also visit my LE/forensic site at DrRonMartinelli.com for additional articles and insight. God bless and protect you all. With this new and dangerous War on Police, we are truly America's new Band of Brothers/Sisters. Be safe. Be vigilant.

Bob peterson @ 9/7/2015 6:30 PM

Police officers need to protect themselves. Don't hesitate. You know what it takes. I want to apologize for all these stupid white people who are taking this black lives matter as their own. Whites need to say all lives matter. Blacks need to say all lives matter. This movement is just another way blacks want segregation not integration.

Leonard @ 9/8/2015 7:02 PM

Unfortunately, article like this and others are mistakenly perpetuating a myth that there is some sort or concerted effort against law enforcement. Nothing can be further from the truth. BLM and like minded organizations do not promote violence against officers but rather want Police to stop perpetuating violence against citizens. Police are on track to kill over 1000 citizens once again, with almost 1/3 of those being unarmed. And statistics still show, that it's never been safer to be a police officer. Police routinely identify themselves as paramilitary forces, even the authors own words reinforce this obscene mentality we have allowed our officers to adopt...Soldier. I'm sorry, I don't want my police to be soldiers, that's not their purpose. Today's officer is far too comfortable using overwhelming force against citizens. We have a problem with our police and it's not caused by movement like BLM. BLM and other exist because police lack accountability and created the mistrust

Bob peterson @ 9/11/2015 7:15 PM

What does Leonard think BLM members chanting pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon,mean. Yes, these organizations are promoting violence against whites and police officers. Dr. Martinelli isn't right on the mark. It's time for whites and police officers to start some type of national organization to protect them when they stop the problem. Police and whites are finally getting fed up and will soon take action. We need an organization with lawyers, citizens, officers who know that police officers are good and have always protected everyone. There are such a small percentage of bad officers. There's more young black thugs doing bad than police officers. Someone, please get an organization started to protect our police and white people. It's sad when three percent of young black males do over fifty percent of very bad crimes. If blacks have organization that promote only black issues its time for a white organization to promote white issues. Not a violent organization .lets organize

Rude @ 9/18/2015 12:49 AM

This is exactly what happens when something that has been going on for years finally gets more exposure. Right support police and provide harsh punishment for violent offenders. But make sure that it doubles for men or women, black , white, Brown or other. Because they swore to uphold the law not abuse it. If you want to be a police officer do it because that's what you want not because it pays good. " The only thing worse, than order without law, is law without order." Not all cops are bad, but in that case not all people are bad either.

No one special @ 9/24/2015 4:31 PM

I see the problem very differently. The supreme court has declared that police are one of the most untrustworthy groups that can exist. The supreme court ruled that police lie, manipulate, quote laws that do not exist, trick people into giving up their fundamental rights and worst of all, have no duty to protect an individual.

When a reasonable person looks at what the supreme court has said it does not take much thought to quickly decide that police as a group can not be trusted. To many police have acted like bullies. When police decide to control every situation in unfriendly ways people quickly learn to distrust them.

By having the mentality that the officer has to come home at night but no one else does the police create the very division they then complain about. I learned complete distrust of police in a college town. I was harassed to many times for the crime of driving after 10pm. I never got a ticket, but I learned fear and distrust of those police.

Bob peterson @ 10/8/2015 6:30 PM

In my previous post I meant to say Dr. Martinelli is right on the mark. My spell check changed it to isn't. Dr. Martinelli has great reasoning.

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