Los Angeles, California – September 22, 2020 – In what her office called a “press release
,” Representative Norma Torres goes to great lengths to explain that she is all things to all people. To the activists critical of law enforcement, she refers to “unchecked police aggression.” To law enforcement, she says she knows how important public safety professionals are for emergency response because of her experience as a dispatcher. But she saves her harsh criticism for only one side, the police.
In her most telling passage, Rep. Torres refers to the unprovoked and horrific shooting attack on two deputies last week by indicating, “This attack did not take place in a vacuum though – the moment of reckoning law enforcement is in right now is long-overdue and well-justified.” By that horrible logic, anyone who wears a police uniform should expect and should deserve to be shot.
Rep. Torres attempts to say that she understands law enforcement officers, citing herself as “someone who dispatched LAPD officers for nearly 18 years…”
That experience alone should have been sufficient for her to understand that her statement is widely perceived among sworn personnel as saying that officers who are ambushed in shootings should not be surprised and that peace officers deserve that kind of violence to be aimed at police personnel.
Rep. Torres’ press release includes a list of disclaimers indicating she is against violence against police personnel. All of those disclaimers, and any claims of career experience she may use in an attempt to make herself sympathetic to deputy sheriffs, are eliminated by her offensive posture that blames peace officers first.
Rep. Torres says the “Eyes of History are Now Upon Us…” but she fails entirely to chart a path ahead that would help resolve these challenging issues. Someone as experienced in public safety issues as she is would certainly propose police training, community education, anything that would focus productively on the difficult days ahead.
On behalf of more than 8,000 deputy sheriffs and district attorneys working in Los Angeles County, we urge Rep. Torres to think twice before “condemning” violence against police as an excuse to over-generalize her criticism of sworn personnel.
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