Commenting on the fatal shooting of a Harris County sheriff’s deputy late Friday, Ron Hickman, sheriff of the county, said that supposed anti-cop motives in the Black Lives Matter movement was to blame for high tensions that have put police in danger.
“This rhetoric has gotten out of control,” Hickman said during a Saturday press conference, and has increased “to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers happens.”
Hickman was referring to the death of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, who was gunned down Friday at a Houston gas station. The suspect, Shannon Miles, a black man, has been charged with capital murder in the slaying of Goforth, a white man, who “was only targeted because he was wearing a uniform,” Hickman said.
In court on Monday, Harris County district attorney Devon Anderson said Miles shot Goforth 15 times with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson. “We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter,” Hickman said Saturday, according to the Texas Tribune. “Well, cops’ lives matter, too.”
He added: “Why don’t we just drop the qualifier and say ‘lives matter.’ Take that to the bank.”
Anderson told reporters at the press conference that the “vast majority” of police officers are well-intentioned but are tainted by a “few bad apples.” Recent cases of police shootings of unarmed black persons such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, have given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement, which aims to beat back police brutality and profiling in black communities across the United States.
That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement,” Anderson said of the high-profile killings, some of which were caught on camera, since Brown’s murder in August 2014. “What happened last night is an assault on the fabric of society.”
She added: “It is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement.”