It was a variation on a scene we’ve seen all too often over the past several years: five officers shot, one fatally, all by a killer with a grudge against the police.
There was one thing markedly different this time around, though. That was the president’s response.
In a tweet on the same night of the shooting, President Donald Trump offered his “deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible shooting” in Colorado on New Year’s Eve and gave a shout-out to all of America’s law enforcement — something you definitely wouldn’t see from our former president.
According to Fox News, the shooting was an “ambush-style” attack by a 37-year-old Iraq War veteran who was barricaded in his apartment bedroom in Highlands Ranch.
Deputies were called to the apartment shortly after 5 a.m. in response to a disturbance call, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said. Reports say they had been to the apartment an hour earlier.
The shooter fired over 100 shots at deputies when they came back. “They all went down, almost within seconds of each other.”
It was later revealed that the gunman, who was killed at the scene, had posted rants against the Douglas County Sheriff on social media. Zackari Parrish, 29, was identified as the slain deputy. He had only been on the job with the sheriff’s department for seven months and leaves behind a wife and two children.
According to KDVR-TV, two civilians were also wounded in the ambush.
“I can’t tell you how difficult it is for a leader to sit down with a spouse of an officer who was killed in the line of duty,” Spurlock said. “They had many hopes and dreams. He was doing his job and he was doing his job well.”
For the past eight years, in cases like this, we were used to silence from the Oval Office. If there was any response from the Obama administration to the killings of police officers — as Obama was essentially forced into delivering after the mass shooting of Dallas police officers in 2016 — it was more about his putative accomplishments and political agenda than an actual expression of condolence.
Not so much with Trump:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2017
The president not only expressed condolences within hours, he didn’t make it about himself or his agenda. And he didn’t limit his attention to just the shooting in Colorado but law enforcement in general.
When, exactly, can you remember Obama — or for that matter, any other major liberal — giving unqualified support to the men and women on the front lines of law enforcement?
Thankfully, the other deputies injured in the shooting have mostly recovered. Only Deputy Jeff Pelle, 32, remained in the hospital as of Monday, and his condition had been upgraded from stable to fair.
However, what would be better would be an America where we don’t have to talk about madmen targeting police simply for being police. That will require a top-down effort, and it begins with a president willing to face the issue head-on.
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