Law Enforcement

The FBI Needs To Evaluate Its Non-Partisan Mission

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What is going on with the FBI? Once the world’s premier law enforcement agency and still staffed with some of the most patriotic Americans, it has once again plunged the nation into doubt about its supposed duty to remain non-partisan. Incredibly, the FBI has officially classified the Republican baseball practice shooting by a leftist Bernie Sanders’ supporter as “suicide by cop.”

On June 14, 2017, the attack occurred in Alexandria, VA., when an Illinois man armed with a rifle and pistol began shooting at the 24 Republicans on the team. The suspect shot Republican U.S. Representatives, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and four others. Scalise was seriously wounded but recovered.

Two Capitol police officers, wearing plain clothes, sitting in an unmarked car, immediately responded to the attack. They shot and killed the suspect before he could inflict more injuries or kill someone. In my career, this is the first time I’ve seen an incident classified as “suicide by cop” where the suspect did not intentionally challenge a cop.

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How do you commit “suicide by cop” when you’re not sure cops are even present? Or, even if he were aware officers were present, he shot at the Republicans, not at the cops. And even if he thought he might get shot by police, that does not make the incident a “suicide by cop.”

To add to the apparent misclassification, FOX News reported, before practice, the suspect had asked then U.S. Representatives Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Jeff Duncan (R-SC) “whether the practice was being held by Republicans or Democrats.” Later, investigators reportedly found the suspect had a “kill list” of Republicans in his pocket.

Federal agencies continue to misidentify and misclassify major political incidents by either understating or overstating them. You may recall, the Fort Hood shooting was classified as “workplace violence.” And they labeled the events at the Capitol on January 6 an “armed insurrection” (as it is commonly understood), even though they’ve found no demonstrator or rioter was armed (with a firearm).

The federal criminal justice system keeps spitting in Americans’ faces with these politically partisan descriptions and classifications. The American people will continue to lose more and more faith in the very agencies they should trust the most.

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Steve Pomper is an author, freelance writer, and retired Seattle police officer. During his career, he served as a field training officer, on the Community Police Team, and as a mountain bike patrol coordinator. He’s written five books, including The Obama Gang and De-Policing America, and he is a contributor to the National Police Association and a freelance writer for The Tatum Report.

Originally from New England, he’s a Boston sports fan. He now lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. He enjoys spending time with his adult kids and three grandchildren.