A police officer in Durham, North Carolina, was sitting in his patrol car on Christmas Day last week when he noticed two men approaching his vehicle. When he exited his car to address the men, one of them pulled out a handgun and opened fire, according to police.
A total of six rounds were reportedly fired at the officer during the unprovoked attack. Fortunately, officer J.T. West was able to return fire and survive the attempted assassination.
The alarming incident occurred just days after two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were ambushed in their vehicle and executed by a gunman.
This combination made from photos provided by the New York Police Department shows officers Rafael Ramos, left, and Wenjian Liu. Authorities say Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who vowed online to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner, ambushed Ramos in Liu in a patrol car Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, and fatally shot them in broad daylight before running to a subway station and killing himself. (AP Photo/New York Police Department)
The suspected killer, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who killed himself after the shooting, said in social media posts that he wanted to kill police officers in retaliation for the racially-charged police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City.
The disturbing trend led Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown to proclaim that “all lives matter” at a remembrance ceremony honoring the slain NYPD officers in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Sunday. Protesters have used the phrase “black lives mater” to express their anger over the recent police killings.
"As I stand before you today, I can say that black lives do matter. And as I stand before you in this Raleigh police uniform that I put on every day with pride, I must say that blue lives do matter. But as I close, I must say that we as a community must begin to recognize that all lives matter," she said at the First Baptist Church in Raleigh.
"I think it's important that we're all vigilant, not just about what's going on in New York, but we had officers shot at in Durham over the weekend. That's the reality of where we are," she added.
State NAACP President Rev. William Barber noted at the ceremony that a police officer is killed in the line of duty every 58 hours. While he called it “wrong,” he also claimed a black man is killed every 28 hours by an “officer or vigilante.”
PunditFact recently fact-checked the 28-hour claim after it was made by CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill. The website labeled the claim that "every 28 hours" an unarmed black person is shot by a cop "false." Read more about the origin of the claim here.
Others at the event reportedly called for additional dialogue between law enforcement and the community in the aftermath of the violence.