Houston police union president threatens to track civilian anti-police rhetoric after cops shot
After five officers were shot while serving a narcotics search warrant, the president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union took an authoritarian line against any anti-police sentiment.
On Monday night, Houston police officers drove to a residence where they suspected a drug business was operated. According to CNN, police chief Art Acevedo said, “Immediately upon breaching the door, the officers came under fire from one or two suspects inside the house.”
The two suspects were killed immediately afterwards.
Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, used the shooting to bring up the debunked notion that police are under increased attack Monday’s press conference. ABC Eyewitness News reports Gamaldi said, “We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families.”
He continues, “Enough is enough. If you’re the ones out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now. We’re going to be keeping track on all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure to hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.”
.@houstonpolice Union President Joe Gamaldi on today's shooting that led to 5 officers being injured: "We are sick and tired of having targets on our backs" https://t.co/SlLYdRPnv6 #PRAYFORHPD pic.twitter.com/XIzrA0FFUX
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) January 29, 2019
The anti-law enforcement sentiment Gamaldi is likely referring to is the community’s outrage over the disproportionate murder of Black people in Houston. Many civilians have addressed the failure to hold police accountable and of appropriate investigations into white supremacist threats. Most recently, the family of 7-year old Jasmine Barnes was fatally said they witnessed her being shot by a white man driving a moving truck. However, Houston police arrested two Black suspects.
Channel 2 news just made a statement they say Houston police stated about they tired of people talking about police and putting a target on they back. For one we the black community tired of being and shot down are beat almost to death for no reason and no charges against police
— ResurrectedStrong (@ResurrectedStr1) January 29, 2019
According to the Police Accountability Tool for Houston, the police homicide rate for Black people is 12.35% compared to 5.19%, the average police homicide rate for all people.
Black people are 25% of Houston's population but 57% of people killed by Houston police since 2013. #AlvaBraziel https://t.co/wVnVD8nuh7
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) July 9, 2016
Many pro-Trump supporters are also utilizing the incident to make racist claims about Mexican immigrants and demand that a wall be built to protect police from violent Black and Brown people.