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11 Officers Shot Over 24 Hours Causes Fear of 'War on Cops'

January 24, 2011  | 

So far in 2011, 14 law enforcement officers have been killed, a trend that extends from 2010, which was one of the deadliest years on record, according to statistics released by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund on Monday.

The uptick in attacks on officers prompted a police union spokesman to say field officers are concerned about a "war on cops."

Richard Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations, told MSNBC, "It's not a fluke. There's a perception among officers in the field that there's a war on cops going on."

On Monday, three officers were shot — two fatally wounded, and one injured — while serving an aggravated battery warrant at a home in St. Petersburg, Fla. On Sunday, four officers were shot at a Detroit Police precinct; two Kitsap County (Wash.) Sheriff's deputies were shot at a Walmart while responding to a call reporting a suspicious person; and police officers in Indianapolis and Lincoln City, Ore., were critically injured in shootings during traffic stops.

As of Jan. 24, officer fatalities have been recorded in eight states, including multiple deaths in Florida (5), Texas (2), and Ohio (2). Florida and Texas were among the top five states leading officer deaths in 2010 (along with California, Illinois, and Georgia).

"The devastating spike in law enforcement officer fatalities in 2010 has tragically continued in the first month of 2011," according to Craig W. Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. "I have never seen anything like it. The violent events of the past 24 hours in Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Oregon and Washington have been detrimental to America's peace officers, taking the lives of two and injuring several others. We must do everything in our power to stop these senseless and heinous crimes against our law enforcement personnel."

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's preliminary "2010 End of Year Officer Fatality Report," officer fatalities reached 162, a nearly 40 percent increase from the 117 in 2009. Of the 162 officers killed in the line of duty, 61 were shot — a 24 percent increase from 2009. Tragically, the trend continued with 14 officer deaths in January, 10 of which resulted from shootings accounting for a 40 percent increase compared to the same period in 2010.

"As recent events show us, there is a more brazen criminal prowling the streets of America and our law enforcement officers responsible for protecting our communities are uniformed targets for these criminals," according to Floyd.

The following nine officers are the most recent gunfire-related fatalities:

  • Clark County (Ohio) Sheriff's Deputy Suzanne Hopper was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call at a mobile home park on New Year's Day.
  • Rainier (Ore.) Police Chief Ralph Painter was killed by a fatal gunshot wound to the head on Jan. 5, while responding to a call reporting a car theft at a strip mall.
  • Baltimore City (Md.) Police Officer William H. Torbit, Jr. was fatally shot during an altercation outside a night club on Jan. 9.
  • Lakewood (N.J.) Patrolman Christopher Matlosz was shot and killed as he approached a suspect while patrolling a residential area on Jan. 14.
  • Livonia (Mich.) Officer Larry Nehasil was fatally wounded by a burglary suspect during a shootout on Jan. 17.
  • Miami-Dade (Fla.) Officers Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth were fatally shot as they attempted to serve a murder warrant at a Miami, Florida home on Jan. 20.
  • St. Petersburg (Fla.) Sgt. Tom Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz were gunned down and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on Jan. 24. A U.S. Marshal was also wounded but is in stable condition.

Comments (18)

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18

Roger @ 1/24/2011 6:52 PM

Come on guys! Lets stay alert out there. We all know that you can't defend an ambush, but you can prepare for it and it starts with mental alertness. Remember nothing is routine. Just as you would study for a test study for situations and be prepared. Your mental attitude is sometimes you best defense. You go home at shifts end we don't care where they go. "Let's be careful out there" May God Bless You>

Candy Carpenter @ 1/24/2011 7:18 PM

You are just as defenceless as Jesus was on the cross trust your heart He is watching. No one can instill fear the way He can. He can do more damage than any bullett can do. Remember what He said to John "John behold your mother" (Jesus) refering to His mother Mary. He knew Mary needed someone to watch out for Her. He will do no less for you.

Bill @ 1/24/2011 8:12 PM

Of course the public doesn't understand or even know what's going on on the street or in the prisons. Law enforcement officers everywhere have the toughest beat to follow. I've been retired from NYS Corrections now for almost a year with over 27 years under my belt. I'm proud to say that my watch was uneventful, but it won't be so much for the next generation. Politics has been introduced into the picture and has left a lot of brother officers out to dry. I'm sure this is true amongst the police that watch our cities, towns, and villages. My solemn prayer is that my breathren be safe and my the Lord watch over all of you in your daily functions.

Terri Suggett @ 1/24/2011 8:16 PM

And Officer Mike Thorton who last a leg early Saturday morning in San Antonio, TX while assisting a disaboled motorist. He is a former exlporer with the Placer Co Sheriff (CA) and serves with SAPD.

Christopher morris @ 1/24/2011 9:14 PM

May god be w all of you...but particularly those of you who do it the right way...and always ask him to ride w you during your duty!! I learned a LESSON A LONG TIME AGO.. if you put him in everything you do you have no fear of always pause and ask him for an assessment of what to do...simple ask ,.... Lord what would you have me do?? and he will not allow the devil to speak in his place...and if you don't believe that, then good luck!! God Bless You all who put your lives on the line...And that goes to the Fireman who risk theirs every time also!

DJ @ 1/24/2011 9:25 PM

As known, A LOT of people make poor decisions around law enforcement and sadly, the shift to "us vs the" has happened. This is what happens when people are distorted about law enforcement. I say detain everyone that is encountered. Officer safety first. We need to increase authoritative force. No mercy. We do not deserve to lose another brother or sister.

Melz13 @ 1/24/2011 9:31 PM

Watch your 6, as the economy worsens and more jobs lost. People want to work, be proud and then the shit-heads, steal, rob, drugs. It will get worse. Rob & feed your family or go to jail...3 strikes, etc. But now the star on your chest is his aiming point. Some want to die, some don't...but now with the Nations ecomony sucking...easy choice for them, less cops better chance to get away with it. Nobody wants to be sued by a crook to stupid to not get caught, he did, he don't like it...your the bad guy them. A split-second thought, hesatation...will, get you killed or sued. Nolaws will make this better only a Country that produces and exports...not just imports...borrows trillions from a commie country and kisses everyones ass. We have a lot of rights/the same ones the crinimal has. We have to take our country back, and go home at night. Make them not go home! These polations are to kissy kissy with the criminals rights. Vote then out in 2012, NO MORE...yak a dee yak speaches. The good people run this country, well nothing runs here now. And that is why more cops will be targeted, Hell nobodys life is worth and copper roll. Stay Safe, Please go home after your shift ends.

Sgt Craw Philly Warrant U @ 1/25/2011 2:20 AM

Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight we dine in Hell!~

No retreat, no surrender. That is Spartan law. And by Spartan law we will stand and fight, and die.~

Wallace Stalcup @ 1/25/2011 6:36 AM

Story is informative and thats good some of the responses are also good at least to those of us that are christians. To DJ if we become the bullies you suggest then we have indeed become the enemy. Be cautious, entrust yourself to God as his servant , and do your job!

Mitchell Congress @ 1/25/2011 9:51 AM

We kive in a time now that political rhetoric has encited some to violence and our leaders and Law enforcement Officers have become the targets of these heinous rimes. We must enact legislation and demand that our Legal System enforce our laws to protect them and show a Zero tolerance for such heinous acts of violence. Rap lyrics and violent movies portraying violence has placed these acts in the minds of our youth and young adults, this mixed with our already existing criminal elements is an equation for disaster. Our legal system and our judicial system, with these plea bargains and early paroles only makes an officers job harder and criminals worse. When will Life mean Life?

jilajig2 @ 1/25/2011 10:30 AM

I'm going to get a lot of nasty comments out there for making this statement but I don't care. If Law Enforcement Officers would stop treating citizens as "suspects" everytime that they pull someone over for such trifling things such as going 5mph over the speed limit, having a burnt-out tailight, or not turning on your turn signal, (you know, such horrendous crimes such as that) and quit living in the menatality that it is "us against them" and that the police officers are in a "war zone" and that everyone needs to be suspect, then maybe they will be treated with a little more respect. I'm sure it will also help too if they lived by the same rules that they punish others for not living by (i.e. putting your seatbelts on, not speeding, not running red lights like I've see so many officers do) It will actually create a level of respect for them. As it is right now I would rather be killed by a criminal than a police officer, because I know that there would be a chance that the criminal would be arrested, charged, tried, and convicted for murdering me and at least I would get some justice, whereas If a cop would kill me all he would get is a paid vacation, courtesy of the tax-payer he just killed, and then become a hero to the rest of his thugs because of what he did. Heck, he might even get a commendation. That is why Police Officers are NEVER to be trusted!

Sgt. Ret, R.H. Nezas @ 1/25/2011 10:48 AM

Be polite, and respectful with everyone you deal with, but have a plan to kill them, were wise words our Chief Henry Minor used to tell us in briefing.
In these very difficult times in our country, the financial strains on everyone, the events we are seeing will only get worse until people are put back to work and can support their families. Street Survival is difficult in good times. Stay alert, take nothing for granted, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Pre think situations and what you will do. You will not have time to think them out when it happens for real. The life you save may be your own. 26 years Manchester Ct Police Dept. RET.

DJ @ 1/25/2011 1:31 PM

jilajig2; you're a perfect example of the stupid, uneducated people we encounter everyday. From your comments I'd be amazed if you graduated high school. This may be hard for you to understand but, if you educate yourself ever so slightly about law enforcement, you would understand a lot. But you probably won't, cause you're stupid and ignorant and think you know how it really is. I'm sure the "thug life" is a better alternative you moron.

batosai117 @ 1/25/2011 3:27 PM

jilajig2, I was going to type a huge paragraph with it's intent to explain how I disagree with your statement and how wrong you really are, but instead I'll post this, You are an ass. Plain and simple.

Wear my boots for a day and you'll be thinking it's "us vs them" too when you arrive at a domestic violence call and try arresting the husband only to have the beaten wife attack you for arresting her "loving" husband. Or when you pull that car over for doing 5 mph over the limit on a highway known for drug smuggling and after a vehicle search discover that the driver was only a foot away from a loaded pistol.

All it takes is that split second of hesitation, a car passing by as a distraction, a child in the back seat, to throw your guard off and take away your right to go home at the end of the day.

Adrian Stroud @ 1/25/2011 5:39 PM

Like Dean Scovill has taught us, do not hesitate to draw your weapon. I feel the exact same way. Be careful, and do not hesitate to pull your weapon out. You cannot outdraw a drawn weapon. Be ready to use it. A strong offense is the best defense. God help us all and watch over us.

Brad @ 1/25/2011 10:36 PM

God Bless each of our families!!There needs to be harsher laws against career criminals!!

Lt J Keappock @ 1/26/2011 6:48 AM

ALways keep and believe in your faith in God. But be equally ALERT and VIGILANT when on the streets or wherever your duties take you. Always expect the unexpected and be prepared. Watch those vehicle stops, domestic calls, EDP calls, pulling over to simply assist a motorist has become dangerous and deadly as we have seen lately. they all have the POTENTIAL of going wrong. Be quick and proficient with you weapon. ALWAYS GET COVER WHEN POSSIBLE. BE SAFE !!!

BeachAngelLA @ 2/5/2012 4:14 PM

I sure do wish all those out there who have hatred towards Officers would just Stop being this way. Cops are people too & who go out every day putting their lives on the line to help others; To Serve and To Protect. Please STOP hurting & taking them out. We need and want Every single Police Officer out there & for them All to go home the same way they left for work. If I had a wish, it would not be to win the lottery, it would be for All these killings of All Police Officers & Innocent Citizens to STOP. "Thank you to All Police Officers; You are All Very Much Appreciated" Keep up all the great hard work you do.

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