The National Fraternal Order of Police called on officers around the United States to stay vigilant in the wake of several attacks and ambushes against law enforcement in recent days.
This week, several law enforcement officers in several states were shot, including two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in an ambush incident over the weekend.
“The unprovoked ambush attacks on law enforcement continue. These attacks will continue and become more violent if we don’t stop the hatred and disgusting rhetoric spewed towards the brave men and women of law enforcement,” the National Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the United States, said in an “OFFICER SAFETY ALERT” on Twitter.
In the statement, the union wrote that “as our nation becomes increasingly divided during this unprecedented time, law enforcement officers are the keepers of the peace and stand firm on the thin blue line, placing themselves between order and anarchy.”
‼️⚠️OFFICER SAFETY ALERT⚠️‼️
The unprovoked ambush attacks on law enforcement continue. These attacks will continue and become more violent if we don’t stop the hatred and disgusting rhetoric spewed towards the brave men and women of law enforcement. https://t.co/QdsHhvpMk9 pic.twitter.com/1E1tts6xqv
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) September 16, 2020
It said police officers need to exercise caution at all times, maintain constant situational awareness, be aware of their surroundings, be prepared, and “watch your back—and that of your partner.”
The union also said that officers should “keep yourself and your communities safe by being vigilant on duty and off. There are individuals who are motivated solely by a desire to hurt or kill a police officer, so do not let your guard down.”
On Sept. 12, two deputies were shot by a gunman who was seen on video approaching the vehicle from behind. The suspect still has not been caught, and a reward of nearly $300,000 is being offered.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that one of the deputies, identified as a 24-year-old who was shot in the forehead, hand, and arms, was released from the hospital.
“He has a long road ahead for recovery. But he’s not alone. We, as a community, are in this together,” Villanueva said on social media.
Police said the shooter appears to be a black male between the ages of 28 and 30. After the incident, he ran away to a black four-door sedan and sped away.
The shootings follow a wave of anti-police protests and sentiment as well as calls to “defund the police” after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody in May.