It was approaching dusk outside the St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, Calif. As the sun set and the air filled with the scent of devastating nearby wildfires, ambulances raced to the hospital’s emergency room bearing two grievously wounded Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.
The ambushed pair had been shot in the head while sitting in their patrol car. Surveillance video caught the shooter quickly running to a waiting sedan, indicating that it was a planned attack. The small, hooded figure moved like a young person, and the vision immediately made me think: “Who parented this person? Do they realize their child is capable of such an act?”
A smiling bystander filmed himself at the scene, seemingly celebrating the shooting. “Two sheriffs shot in the face! … Somebody just ran up on the corner and bust on their a–, right through the window!”
What causes one human being to be gleeful at the pain or death of another? Is this the man his mother envisioned her child would become?
As the wounded deputies fought for their lives inside the hospital, a crowd of mostly young protesters danced outside, middle fingers extended to the sky, chanting, “I hope they die” and, “Oink, oink.”
A few days later, there was a copycat shooting of another officer in Phoenix. He was shot in a drive-by incident as he stood guard outside the federal courthouse. Luckily, his vest saved his life, and a suspect was quickly apprehended.
Whose children are these? Did their parents forget to teach them about the sanctity of life?
More importantly, what kind of country has this become when the good guys — officers who have taken an oath to keep us safe — are suddenly seen as the bad guys and coward criminals who shoot them are applauded as the heroes?
Peaceful protests are constitutionally protected and necessary for a democracy to thrive. But, please, don’t fail to understand that many protest marches are often covers for carefully choreographed violent episodes. When will the young, genuinely peaceful protesters see that their events are being hijacked by dedicated troublemakers?
In July, a swarm of screaming young people suddenly descended upon an outdoor restaurant in Dallas. The protesters (let’s call them instigators) carried “No Justice, No Peace” and “Black Lives Matter” signs. They yelled vulgar obscenities at the multiracial patrons, several children among them. Pushing and shoving ensued; items were hurled at the diners; and it took Dallas police to stop the brawl.
Do the parents of these black and white kids realize their children bellow, “F— white people!” at total strangers? Did any of the instigators’ parents catch their antics on the evening news, and if so, what was their response?
In September in Rochester, N.Y., a copycat group of young instigators converged on three outdoor restaurants. This intimidating protest followed release of a video showing how police handled a naked, mentally ill black man high on PCP, who later died in the hospital. Terrified diners scattered as BLM agitators toppled tables, threw chairs, broke glassware and screamed, “We’re shutting your party down!”
These unlawful restaurant temper tantrums have occurred in several other locations, including Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, and I’m betting we haven’t seen the last of them. They are orchestrated by young people who apparently don’t realize how badly they are hurting their cause and not helping it.
We can only hope that ambush shootings of cops aren’t the next trend.
Who are these crude youths who have adopted the sick, coordinated playbook of disruption and violence? Some are disaffected blacks from underprivileged families who truly see no justice in their future. But many are pampered, college-educated white kids from middle-class or wealthy families who joined the revolution and hypocritically scream in the face of others about the need to end “white privilege” and redistribute wealth. Do their parents agree?
Supporting a cause by hitting the streets is a sacred American right. Ramming a cause down others’ throats using violent and illegal behavior is not. As I watch these out-of-control scenes, I wonder if the parents of these people are honestly proud of their offspring’s behavior. If not, it’s probably way past time for them to sit down with their kids for a reality check.
— Diane Dimond is the author of three books, including Be Careful Who You Love Inside the Michael Jackson Case, which is now updated with new chapters and is available as an audiobook. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.