COVID-19 vaccine mandates have sparked nationwide controversy and led to firings and resignations around the country. Police officers have been hit hard by the requirements, and their exodus may leave many cities understaffed even on the heels of a spike in violent crime.
In New York City, officers passed the mayor’s deadline for vaccination Friday. The city announced that there are 26,000 unvaccinated municipal workers, including 17% of police officers. Those who refuse to comply will be placed on unpaid leave beginning Monday.
But New York City is far from the only local government to take that route. Several municipalities have instituted vaccine mandates for police officers only to see a significant drop-off in staffing.
With the promise of no vaccine mandate and lower property taxes, Indiana officials are trying to lure jilted police officers from Illinois.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a vaccine mandate for police in August. They must show their vaccination status or take the option of testing on their own time and dime. If they don’t, they can be placed on “no pay” status.
Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun tweeted that his office is ready to help connect police officers to an Indiana department that is hiring now.
Violence against law enforcement officials increased dramatically in 2020, according to a Monday FBI press release. Over 60,000 assaults on law enforcement officers while in the line of duty occurred in 2020, an increase of over 4,000 from just over 56,000 on-the-job assaults in 2019, according to the press release.
Of all the officers assaulted in 2020, more than 18,500, or just over 30%, sustained injuries. Just under 44,500 assaults employed “personal weapons,” including “hands, fists, or feet,” and 25.8% of officers attacked in this manner suffered injuries.
The Austin Police Department is warning it won’t be responding to non-life threatening 911 calls.
Starting Friday, Austin’s sworn police officers will no longer be responding in person to non-emergency calls because of severe staffing shortages, APD announced.
The announcement comes after the Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies Organization in Houston warned residents that if they were “robbed, raped or shot” to “hold their breath and pray” because they might not have the personnel to respond.
The Austin no-response announcement includes vehicle collisions with no injuries and burglaries no longer in progress or where the suspect has fled the scene. Instead of calling 911, residents are being told to call 311 to file a non-emergency police report.
The most violent clashes between police and protesters on January 6 occurred inside and outside the west terrace tunnel. The tunnel leads to doors that open into the Capitol building; according to federal documents, “the Lower West Terrace Door was heavily guarded by U.S. Capitol Police and [D.C. Metro Police] personnel, who had formed a defensive line to prevent unauthorized access into the U.S. Capitol via the tunnel.”
Dozens of people have been arrested and charged with various offenses, including assaulting police, for their conduct at the tunnel that afternoon.
The Associated Press reported in August that Robert Reeder, a Maryland man, pleaded guilty to “parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.” He argued for leniency because, “he is a registered Democrat who wasn’t a supporter of former President Donald Trump.” So why did he join the incursion into the Capitol building? Because, he says, he was an “accidental tourist” with nothing better to do.
But an online group that calls itself Sedition Hunters recently tweeted a picture it says shows that same “accidental tourist” attacking a police officer. Curiously, the “accidental tourist,” who didn’t support Donald Trump, happened to be wearing a red “MAGA”-style hat. His attorney argued in court, “Mr. Reeder is not politically active, is not and has never been a member of any right-wing or anti-government or extremist group and has, unfortunately, been publicly grouped with many others (whose) views he abhors.”
The story reminds one of John Sullivan, a Black Lives Matter activist who infiltrated the January 6 incursion to encourage violence, bully police officers, and generally stoke mayhem. While many of the trespassers remain locked up without bail, Sullivan mysteriously received pre-trial release.
Judge G. Michael Harvey sounded floored.
During a detention hearing this week for Robert Morss, arrested last month for his involvement in the Capitol protest, a federal prosecutor told Harvey she needed permission from the government before she could turn over to him a slice of video related to Morss’ case. Joe Biden’s Justice Department continues to seek pre-trial detention for people who protested Biden’s election on January 6; prosecutors want to keep Morss, an Army ranger and high school history teacher with no criminal record, behind bars until his trial can begin next year.
But assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jackson hesitated when Judge Harvey asked to see the footage captured by the U.S. Capitol Police surveillance system cited as evidence in government charging documents.
A group of five police officers in Palo Alto, California are suing the city after it allowed far-left radicals to create a pro-Black Lives Matter mural in one of the city’s main streets, according to ABC News.
The mural was painted last June following the death of George Floyd, a career criminal who fatally overdosed on fentanyl while in police custody in Minneapolis last May. His death sparked nationwide race riots, as well as a wave of anti-police sentiment, including a rise in attacks on police officers and calls from far-left politicians to defund police departments.
Among the most controversial images in the Palo Alto mural, painted across the street from City Hall, is a depiction of Joanne Chesimard, a black nationalist who murdered a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. Chesimard, who goes by the name Assata Shakur, fled the country and has been staying in Cuba ever since, where she continues to be venerated by modern black nationalists.
A judge ordered the city of Minneapolis to hire more police officers Thursday after finding the city’s reduction of its police force violated its charter.
The order, issued by Hennepin County District Court Judge Jamie L. Anderson, commands the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey to “fund a police force of at least 0.0017 employees per resident,” or around 730 officers.
The order was issued in response to a lawsuit filed in August 2020 by the Upper Midwest Law Center on behalf of eight Minneapolis residents, arguing that city officials had failed to fulfill their duties by shrinking the police force. Petitioners successfully demonstrated a causal relationship between fewer police officers and the increase in Minneapolis’s crime rate, according to the order.
Two children who escaped from a children’s home broke into a house, stole firearms and opened fire on responding police officers in Volusia County, Florida, Tuesday night, police officer’s body-worn camera video shows.
Nicole Jackson, 14, aimed a shotgun at officers and was shot and wounded while Travis O’Brien, 12, carried an AK-47 and eventually surrendered to officials, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday. The children ran away from the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home before breaking into an empty house where the homeowners told officials they had multiple firearms and a large amount of ammunition.
“Female has a shotgun in her hand, standby,” one officer said, video released Thursday shows. “Put the gun down now!” an officer told Jackson, “they’re shooting at me.”
The police officers who fatally shot Andrew Brown Jr. in April outside of his North Carolina home will not be charged, Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble announced Tuesday.
“After reviewing the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified,” Womble said during a press conference Tuesday. “[His] actions caused three deputies within the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others.”
Brown was shot on the morning of April 21 in Elizabeth City, a small town in the eastern part of the state, after officers approached him with a search warrant and pair of arrest warrants on felony drug charges. Womble testified a week later that Brown made contact with officers while in his car, and that they opened fire afterwards.
Halfway through the month of May, the year 2021 has currently seen 106 police officers wounded in the line of duty, with 23 killed, as reported by Fox News.
A statement from the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) on Thursday said that these numbers are indicative of grim trends for the remainder of the year, which is “on pace to surpass last year’s historic numbers” of officers killed and wounded in the line of duty.
Of the 106 wounded, 27 were deliberately targeted in 22 different attacks that were carried out like ambushes. Since Monday of this week, which marked the beginning of National Police Week, six officers have been shot while on duty.
An adjunct professor berated a student in her class after he expressed support for law enforcement.
Cypress College student Braden Ellis delivered a presentation about cancel culture during a Zoom communications class. In a phone interview with Campus Reform, Ellis affirmed The Daily Wire’s report that he had been discussing the attempted cancellation of “Paw Patrol” during the presentation.
“So you brought up the police in your speech a few times. So, what is your main concern?” asked the adjunct professor. “Since, I mean, honestly… the issue is systemic. Because the whole reason we have police departments in the first place, where does it stem from? What’s our history? Going back to what [another classmate] was talking about, what does it stem from? It stems from people in the south wanting to capture runaway slaves.”
A federal grand jury has indicted four ex-Minneapolis police officers on federal civil rights charges related to the death of George Floyd.
The first indictment charges Derek Chauvin, 45; Tou Thao, 35; J. Alexander Kueng, 27; and Thomas Lane, 38. The three-count indictment alleges that all four defendants willfully deprived Floyd of his constitutional rights, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242.
Count one of the indictment alleges that on May 25, 2020, Chauvin pressed his left knee on Floyd’s neck, and his right knee on Floyd’s back and arm, as Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed and unresisting, and kept his knees on Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive.
Chicago police officers may have to check with their supervisor before chasing suspects on foot, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday. The mayor promised to announce details of a new policy “soon,” Fox 32 Chicago reported.
“No one should die as a result of a foot chase,” Lightfoot said.
Chicago law enforcement’s use of force faced new scrutiny after an officer chased and fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29. Video of the incident released last week shows Toldedo dumping what appears to be a firearm a split-second before he turns and raises his hands. Allegedly, he was handed the gun by Ruben Roman, who allegedly had just used it to fire eight rounds at a passing vehicle. Apparently, no one was hit, according to Fox32.
At least twelve police officers have been shot in the line of duty as riots and protests raged throughout the country following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd was a black man who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, video of the incident showed. Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been fired and arrested on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
The Supreme Court is weighing petitions to reexamine legal immunity that protects officers from being sued in instances of brutal arrests, use of excessive force and the shooting of innocent people in their homes.
The call for reassessment comes during nationwide protests of police brutality, the most recent instance being the death of George Floyd. Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, video of the incident shows.
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