At least three police officers in Baton Rouge were killed in a shooting on Sunday and at least four others injured in what authorities described as an ambush.
The officers were shot after responding to a report of an armed man walking along a local street, Airline Highway. Two of the dead were Baton Rouge police officers; the third was a deputy with the East Baton Rouge sheriff’s department.
The attack comes barely ten days after a black gunman killed five police officers and wounded seven others in Dallas after a peaceful multiracial protest against the recent killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. The gunman told police that he wanted to kill white officers in retaliation for those shootings and others.
Local authorities were describing the incident as an “ambush-style assault” on the police, MSNBC reported.
Baton Rouge has been on edge since the July 5 death of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was shot and killed while being arrested by two white police officers.
On Tuesday, local authorities said they had broken up a plot to target police, arresting three men who stole eight handguns from a pawnshop. One of those apprehended told investigators the guns would be used to harm the police, according to Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie. Louisiana State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson described the plot as a “substantial, credible threat to police.”
Dallas Sniper Planned Bigger Attacks
The U.S. military veteran who fatally shot five Dallas police officers was plotting a larger assault, authorities said on Sunday, disclosing how he also taunted negotiators and wrote on a wall in his own blood before being killed.
Micah X. Johnson improvised instead and used “shoot-and-move” tactics to gun down the officers during a demonstration on Thursday evening, Dallas Police Chief David Brown told CNN. It was the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Brown said a search of Johnson’s home showed the gunman had practiced using explosives, and that other evidence suggested he wanted to use them against law enforcement.
“We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans,” he said, adding that last week’s fatal police shootings of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana led the 25-year-old Texas shooter to “fast-track” his attack plans.
Johnson, a black veteran who served in Afghanistan, took advantage of a spontaneous march that began toward the end of the protest over those killings. Moving ahead of the rally in a black Tahoe SUV, he stopped when he saw a chance to use “high ground” to target police, Brown said.
Before being killed by a bomb-equipped robot, Johnson sang, laughed at and taunted officers, according to Brown, telling them he wanted to “kill white people” in retribution for police killings of black people. “He seemed very much in control and very determined to hurt other officers,” the police chief said.
Johnson’s military training helped him to shoot and move rapidly, “triangulating” his fire with multiple rounds so that police at first feared they were facing several shooters.
Officer in Cleveland Blames Obama
Following the Baton Rouge police shooting Sunday that killed three officers and injured at least three others, Fox News invited Cleveland Det. Steve Loomis to discuss the situation as the story continued to unfold.
Loomis, who is also president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, didn’t hold back from assigning blame during his interview with FNC anchor Harris Faulkner.
“It’s absolutely insane that we have a president of the United States and a governor of Minnesota making the statements they made less than one day after the police involved shootings,” said an emotional Loomis.
“And those police-involved shootings, make no mistake, are what absolutely have triggered this rash of senseless murders of law enforcement officers across this country. It’s reprehensible. And the president of the United States has blood on his hands that will not be able to come washed off.”
Loomis was referring to statements made by President Obama and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) one day after the shooting of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., by a police officer after a traffic stop.
The immediate aftermath of the shooting — which included a bloodied Castile lying motionless in the car — was recorded by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and broadcast on Facebook Live. The footage was replayed repeatedly for days on the news, sparking national outrage and protests.
“When incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our citizenry that feels as if, because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same, and that hurts, and that should trouble all of us,” Mr. Obama said in a statement the following day. “This is not just a black issue, not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we all should care about.”
Dayton’s comments caused an even bigger stir, after he asked: “Would this have happened if the driver were white, if the passengers were white? I don’t think it would have.”
Mike “Mish” Shedlock