@THE GUSS REPORT-After a chaotic summer during which Southern California politicians degraded and defunded the very law enforcement agencies which protected their own homes from rioters, their public anti-law enforcement stance has virtually invited violence against the men and women in blue.
But on Saturday night, it was a man and women who wear the tan LA County Sheriff uniforms for a living who were ambushed by a gunman in a videotaped, unprovoked assassination attempt in Compton. One officer is believed to be shot in the head and the other in the face as both cling to life after emergency surgeries.
While the ABC-7 story describes the male deputy in the past tense, (“The other deputy was a 24-year-old man and his girlfriend and parents came to hospital.”) both officers are believed to be alive as of Sunday morning.
Law enforcement across the region was advised on Saturday night that the alleged getaway vehicle is a black 2006 Mercedes. They also know who its registered owner is, though that person may or may not be the shooter or even tied to him or her.
While an LAPD spokesperson on Sunday morning advised that the agency is unaware whether the alleged gunman had been tracked in the city’s jurisdiction, its Central Division issued the following warning to its patrolling officers twelve hours earlier on Saturday at 8:59 p.m.:
“To all Cenral (sic) Officers. The vehicle which was used in the shooting of the LASD Offices (sic) was a Black 2006 Mercedes, License Plate ______. The vehicle comes back (registered) to ______. LASD has been tracking the vehicle and it has been traveling through Los Angeles Jurisdiction, including here in Central Division. Please keep your head on a swivel and be safe.”
As though the risks of being a patrol officer aren’t already sufficiently dangerous, such disconnect between information issued by LAPD’s headquarters and what is sent out to officers on patrol may make a perilous situation infinitely riskier.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department did not reply by this column’s deadline to advise whether the information that the LAPD had broadcast to its patrol officers on Saturday night was accurate.
Saturday’s ambush might signal a forthcoming extension of what was recently described by Fox News Channel as a bounty against law enforcement in Chicago, which says “the Chicago Police Department was warned of an intelligence alert reportedly sent out by the FBI warning of a pact among street gangs to 'shoot on-sight any cop that has a weapon drawn on any subject in public'."
Video of the Saturday night ambush shows that the gunman would not have been able to see inside the patrol car to determine whether the deputies’ guns were drawn and there is no reason to believe that they were.
(Daniel Guss, MBA, was nominated for a 2020 Los Angeles Press Club journalism award for Best Political Commentary and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, iHeartMedia, 790-KABC, Cumulus Media, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles Downtown News, and the Los Angeles Times in its Sports, Opinion and Entertainment sections and Sunday Magazine, among other publishers. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.