Sunday, November 6, 2016



(Wednesday November 2, 2016, Des Moines, IA) A Des Moines Police Officer and an Officer from the neighboring community of Urbandale were killed in separate attacks early this morning.  The suspect was arrested a few hours later with incident.  Both of these fatal shootings have been labeled as “ambush-style” attacks by local Law Enforcement officials.  The slain Officers have been identified as Urbandale PD Officer Justin Martin and DMPD Sgt. Anthony Beminio.  These are just the latest tragic line of duty deaths (LODD) perpetrated on Police Officers this year, a year that has been marred by several high-profile similar slaughters most notably in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  So far this year 48 Members of Service (MOS) of the Law Enforcement Community (LEC) have been fatally gunned down nationwide; a stark tally of 4 MOS per month.

With the suspect now in custody the discussion will likely turn to motive; what possessed this 46-year-old man who we will not name here out of respect for the ambushed Officers and their families, to kill these Officers as they sat idle in their patrol cars.  In many ways motive is irrelevant; his fatal deeds can have no acceptable rationale.  While the state of Iowa will afford this suspect all due Constitutional judicial rights to a robust defense as put forth by his appointed attorney, no circumstances can in any way mitigate the brutally cowardly cold-blooded assassinations of these two Officers. The suspect is the personification of a particularly dark evil intent that cannot be anticipated or predicted.  Anyone so consumed by this brand of evil can perpetrate cold-blooded murder at anytime, anywhere, against anyone.  To choose Police Officers as targets speaks to just how deviant this evil behavior is. 

Front line members of the LEC live with the underlying possibility that their job may someday precipitate their death.  While this reality is acknowledged it is not usually the over-riding thought as they go about their assigned duties.  Yes, they realize that NO call is ever to be treated as routine; every encounter possesses a threat.  Situational awareness and a high level of mental vigilance is what the MOS carry first and foremost; one’s guard can never truly be “let down”.  This is in no way intended to imply that MOS typically function in a compromised defensive mindset.  There exists a wide gulf between that particularly distracting position and sound but rapid judgment regarding the scenario in which they find themselves at any given moment, on any given call.

Every MOS is willing to act unselfishly to preserve order, protect those who cannot protect themselves, and place themselves in harm’s way.  In quiet moments of introspection, they may imagine a scenario be it affecting an arrest or pursuit of a perpetrator or wading into a volatile confrontation that may ultimately claim their life.  But, not since the widespread social unrest of the late 1960’s and early 1970’shave many of us given much consideration to being assassinated, snuck upon as we sit in an RMP, walk a beat, or exit the RMP to investigate a situation.  Militant Black activists’ groups such as the Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam, and the Weather Underground waged a declared “war” on Law Enforcement in the late ‘60’s  and did in fact infamously ambush and assassinate several Police Officers perhaps most notably in what has come to be known in the institutional and present memory of the NYPD, “The Incident at Mosque No. 7”.

Fast forward from those contentious, violent days of extreme vitriol, violence, social unrest, and overt Black militancy to 2016 and once again Police Officers again live with the very real threat of the ambush/assassination possibility in all locations throughout the country.  The serge of recent attacks that have transpired in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dallas, Boston, Palm Springs, California, among others, call to mind another assassination;   young NYPD Officer, Ed Byrne  was sitting alone in his RMP guarding the location of an individual scheduled to testify in an upcoming trial of drug dealers in 1988, still echoes in the squad and locker rooms of every Precinct.  In the aftermath of Officer Byrne’s murder, the NYPD did institute some policy, procedure and operational modifications.  Some point to those changes as proof that Officer Byrne did not “die in vain” but that is no comfort to anyone especially his family, a family firmly rooted in the NYPD.

If these assassinations are a harbinger of a “new normal” the ongoing nascent debate about “Police reform” will and should grind to a halt.  Clearly the atmosphere in the country, the raw, ragged divisions plaguing us as amply demonstrated over the course of the last 16 months of an unprecedented acrimonious presidential election cycle, insists that this is not the time to be criticizing the LEC despite the acknowledged fact that some Police and Law Enforcement reforms are needed.

Iowa will bury two of her Finest next week. 

Sadly, no one can imagine were such a heinous assassination may strike next.


Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2016 © All Rights Reserved
Copyright Brooding Cynyc 2016 © All Rights Reserved