Los Angeles’ Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti responded to protesters who gathered near a hospital treating two sheriff’s deputies over the weekend after they were shot in an apparent ambush, saying their actions were “abhorrent.” Officials, meanwhile, said the two deputies are out of surgery.
“There’s no place in civilized society for anybody to draw an arm and to shoot our law enforcement officers that put their lives on the line,” Garcetti said in an interview on Sunday when he was asked about protesters who gathered near a medical facility where the deputies were being treated. Some of the protesters cheered for the deputies’ deaths and chanted Black Lives Matter slogans.
“And I won’t ever let a couple voices that not only are uncalled for, but it’s abhorrent to say something like that when we have two deputies, who are sheriff’s deputies, in grave condition,” Garcetti, a Democrat, said in the interview.
“To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling ‘We hope they die’ referring to 2 LA Sheriff’s ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL. People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through,” the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department wrote on Twitter.
Garcetti said that people should pray for the deputies rather than condemn them.
Update: The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation. pic.twitter.com/cBQjyKkoxJ
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) September 13, 2020
Videos on Twitter show that the agitators appear to identify themselves as “Africa Town Coalition” members, as they walk toward the hospital before threatening officers there. Some of them shouted anti-police slogans.
The 31-year-old female deputy and 24-year-old male deputy underwent surgery Saturday evening, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a late-night news conference. Both graduated from the academy 14 months ago, he said.
“It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time,” Villanueva said of the anti-police sentiment.
Authorities also told the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets that the deputies are out of surgery as of Sunday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, called the shooting a “horrific, cowardly act” on Sunday.
“A 31 year-old mother and a 24 year-old are fighting for their lives because of this cowardly, horrific act. The perpetrator must be quickly brought to justice. Praying for a full recovery for the deputies. @JenSiebelNewsom and I are keeping their loved ones in our thoughts,” he wrote.