We included a story in the digest last night about the French who are considering arming all police officers. And despite their status as one of the world’s most gun-controlled utopias, the unarmed bobby is gradually going the way of the dodo in the UK.
Meanwhile, here in the US, despite a generational drop in crime that has seen violent and gun-related crime rates drop to historic lows (thanks, President Clinton!) law enforcement officers carry sidearms because we recognize that there are still (and always will be) bad people who do bad things, sometime with a firearm.
Take, for instance, Richard Mendoza, a gang-affiliated ex-con who was apparently well-known to Los Angeles police officers and was the subject of a routine traffic stop back in July.
As the LA Times reports,
Recordings from inside a police cruiser and the officers’ body cameras captured what seems to begin as a routine traffic stop that suddenly explodes into violence as the gunman pulls a .380-caliber handgun from his side and shoots the female officer who is standing just inches away.
You can skip to the 2:20 mark in this video to see to the dashcam recording of the incident. Some may consider this NSFW.
Officers on the police car camera are seen pulling over Mendoza, who was driving a silver Nissan Altima on Noble Avenue in North Hills at about 10:15 p.m. July 27. The female officer approaches the driver’s-side door while her partner goes to the passenger-side door. …
She asks him to step out of the vehicle.
“You don’t have anything on you, right?” the officer asks. She then opens the driver’s-side door, but as Mendoza steps toward her, he draws the handgun from his right side and fires at close range. Her body camera captures the gun pointing directly at her chest.
The female officer’s bodycam footage starts at 5:02 above. The male officer’s bodycam footage starts at 6:33.
Mendoza fires with his right hand at the female officer, hitting her and then swivels to shoot over the car rooftop at her partner. The male officer ducks and leans over the Altima, firing at Mendoza before coming behind the vehicle to the driver’s side and shooting again. The female officer can be heard screaming in pain.
The un-named officer was shot in the left leg with a .380 round, shattering her femur. She is recovering. Officer Miguel Alarcon was the officer who shot and killed Medoza, The shooting is still under department investigation.
Mendoza, who went by the name of “Biz,” was known by the LAPD as a member of the Vincent Town street gang. He has prior convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon and narcotics for sales, according to the LAPD and court records.
Yet another testament to the power and effectiveness of gun control laws and their impact on criminals.