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Brazen attacks against cops threaten us all

It is always a shock to the senses to hear the grim news that a cop has died on the job. It happens far too ...

Posted: Dec 31, 2018 6:12 AM
Updated: Dec 31, 2018 6:12 AM

It is always a shock to the senses to hear the grim news that a cop has died on the job. It happens far too often -- in 2018, 144 officers died in the line of duty, marking a 12% increase from 2017, according to a new preliminary report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Wednesday, Officer Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department in California was fatally shot after he pulled a driver over. Police officers are all too aware that every time they stop an unknown motorist and approach the vehicle, what might initially begin as a routine traffic stop can quickly escalate to fatal violence. The 33-year-old Singh, an immigrant from Fiji, leaves behind a devastated wife and 5-month old son, as well as members of the law enforcement community who are distraught over the loss.

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Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who was taken into custody Friday in connection to Singh's killing, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico with two previous DUI arrests, according to Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson. Singh's death has reignited the contentious immigration debate and President Donald Trump used the opportunity to double down on his calls for a border wall. On Twitter, he referred to Singh's death and wrote, "Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!"

It became increasingly difficult to ignore the debate Friday afternoon when Christianson held a news conference to announce Arriaga's apprehension. While he said he did not want to politicize Singh's death, he went on to blame the state's sanctuary law, Senate Bill 54, which bars enforcement agencies from using their resources to help with immigration enforcement .

There will be plenty of opportunities to debate the merits and pitfalls of comprehensive immigration reform and the southern border wall at the heart of the government shutdown battle. But it is important to understand just why the killing of a police officer in particular is such a serious criminal offense.

When police are targeted for assassinations or brazenly attacked, the disruption in public order profoundly affects the community. Who can ever feel safe if there exists a type of outlaw that can brazenly strike down officers who are entrusted to keep us safe? If armed officers are rendered vulnerable or impotent, what does that say for the rest of us?

My visceral connection to the pain associated with Singh's comrades in the department comes from decades spent attending cop funerals. No matter where they take place, long rows of starched blue uniforms and crisp salutes line the path from hearse to sanctuary. The silent honor guard stands watch over the flag-draped casket, as the mournful sound of bagpipes fills the air and inconsolable "tough guys" sob in the back row.

The constant reminder of the hazards of our chosen profession is exactly why law enforcement is relentless in the hunt for an accused cop killer. It is about the pursuit of justice and holding those who dare to cross the line accountable. When Arriaga was finally taken into custody Friday, he was fittingly shackled in Singh's handcuffs. While Arriaga is innocent until proven guilty, this symbol of accountability was a small measure of satisfaction among officers who share an everlasting bond with those who perish in the line of duty.

The arrest of an accused cop killer signifies a return to public order, declares that such an egregious offense is not to be tolerated in a free and civil society, and allows citizens to breathe a sigh of relief. I hope Arriaga's capture may bring some solace to Singh's family and colleagues.

In describing the arrest to reporters, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood lauded the interagency cooperative effort and then cautioned those predisposed to attack law enforcement: "When you use a firearm against a police officer, you can run but you can't hide." Let that be a warning.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7850176
DeSoto685779
Harrison505083
Jackson445084
Rankin388186
Madison377993
Lee350779
Forrest299578
Jones287784
Washington255199
Lafayette245943
Lauderdale2418134
Lamar221238
Bolivar200177
Oktibbeha199354
Neshoba1831111
Lowndes176362
Panola169038
Leflore165187
Sunflower159749
Warren153655
Monroe147372
Pontotoc145819
Marshall139227
Lincoln138557
Pike137756
Copiah136236
Coahoma124736
Scott124729
Grenada121138
Yazoo120733
Simpson120449
Union116525
Tate114939
Leake114340
Holmes114160
Pearl River112259
Itawamba112125
Adams106743
Prentiss103719
Wayne99821
Alcorn98112
George97718
Covington95326
Marion93542
Tippah88121
Newton85227
Chickasaw83626
Tallahatchie83025
Winston82821
Tishomingo80041
Hancock79827
Attala78926
Clarke73450
Clay68321
Jasper67717
Walthall63627
Calhoun61912
Noxubee59617
Smith58916
Montgomery53523
Claiborne53316
Tunica52817
Yalobusha51914
Lawrence50714
Perry48623
Carroll47612
Greene46918
Stone46214
Humphreys42616
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster37013
Wilkinson33520
Benton3255
Kemper32015
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27410
Franklin2373
Choctaw2046
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
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