Last Saturday, two officers were shot at close range by a gunman in Compton, Los Angeles.
Both officers were sitting in their patrol car outside Metro Blue Line station, located near Willowbrook Avenue and Oak Street.
Since then, LA County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva, has called for an extensive search, using many department resources, including bomb squads, K-9 units, the SWAT team, and police helicopters. However, the suspect, a black male around age 30, is still not found.
Both officers were taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood. One is Claudia Apolinar, aged 31, while the other is an unidentified 24-year-old male.
Protesters gathered outside the medical center with some chanting, “We hope they f***ing die”. One protester was recorded saying, “I want to deliver a message to the family of the pigs, I hope they f***ing die.”
Another stated, “Y’all gonna die one by one. This ain’t gonna stop.”
Sheriff Villanueva has called these protesters “almost worthy of ISIS.” The Sheriff gave an interview to FOX News on Tuesday, expressing a lot of shock at the protesters’ words.
He said, “It’s just a new low for the hatred that I don’t think anyone in this nation has ever seen before.”
Villanueva continued, “We just don’t expect it on our own shores and we have been here fighting to save people’s lives across the county – it doesn’t matter who you are and it is not something we are going to expect or tolerate.”
In the same interview, Villanueva denied racism within law enforcement agencies. He expressed that ‘law doesn’t treat people differently’. This statement comes despite statistical evidence depicting the rates at which African Americans die at the hands of the police.
On Wednesday, Villanueva came on KABC Radio, speaking on the John Phillips Show. He specified that a search for the suspect was still on-going.
While the two officers are stable, the police department is offering $200,000 to anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts.
Sheriff Villanueva challenged Lebron James, an avid supporter of the BLM movement, to match the $200,000.
He addressed James, stating “I know you care about law enforcement. You expressed a very interesting statement about your perspective on race relations and on officer-involved shootings and the impact that it has on the African-American community.“And I appreciated that. But likewise, we need to appreciate that respect for life goes across all professions.”