Black Lives Matter protesters, who have often called for equality in healthcare, demonstrated outside of a hospital in Lynwood, California as they treated two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies who were ambushed and shot while in their cruiser in Compton.
KABC reported that the demonstrators showed up to protest outside of St. Francis Medical Center on Saturday night and blocked the emergency exit and entrance to the hospital, with at least one person reporting that the demonstrators attempted to enter the building.
“They were saying death to the police, kill the police and they were using all types of curse words and derogatory terms about the police, just provoking our police officers,” said Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez with Churches in Action. “(It’s) unacceptable behavior because the hospital should be a sanctuary, we should leave hospitals alone.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office didn’t mince words, telling the protesters that they needed to fall back:
“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,” the sheriff’s office tweeted. “People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.”
The office also shared some details of the interaction between law enforcement and civilians that lead to the two officers being shot.
“Moments ago, 2 of our Sheriff Deputies were shot in Compton and were transported to a local hospital,” the office tweeted. “They are both still fighting for their lives, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. They later updated that “The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation,” and shared video that verified that version of events.
“During his arrest, a struggle ensued at which time a female adult ran towards the deputies, ignored repeated commands to stay back as they struggled with the male and interfered with the arrest” the office also reported.
It’s as yet unreported what the officers in question did to solicit the seemingly unprompted attack. The video of the attacker approaching their cruiser and shooting them, repeatedly, at point-blank range is a gut-wrenching reminder of what officers in the United States are facing when the put on the uniform and patrol the streets every day.
Americans protest or support them, depending on their political alignments, but their actions toward those people remain largely unchanged. If what Black Lives Matter said about law enforcement were true, they would likely remove themselves from the very area where those officers were on patrol, and leave the lawless to a reign of terror over the helpless. But they don’t.
Even when those they protect call for their death, they remain. Even when the people on the streets of America question whether their jobs, which they do at their own peril on a daily basis, ask whether they are necessary, they keep working their way through shifts.
So here, in mid-September, close to four months after the untimely death of a man addled by the drugs he presumably consumed of his own volition, after more video footage has shown just how unpredictable his words and actions were, the country has not reassessed its position toward law enforcement.
It has found a whipping boy, a group to blame for all life’s ills, and those we are allowing the misinformed to not just bite the hand that feeds them but shoots the faces that look out for them.
Someone will pay for that, and it will likely be our children.