SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy Alex Ladwig, who was shot in the face with his own service weapon, is out of surgery.
Fellow officers are also still recovering from the shock of the attack.
The shooting at a Sacramento light rail station came a day after a separate incident in Stockton where a gunman fired at three officers during an attempted traffic stop, and two weeks after a suspect shot a Sacramento County deputy, who also tried pulling him over in a traffic stop.
“This relentless bashing of law enforcement officers I think has come home to roost,” said former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness.
He says nationwide, officers are hesitating to use force because of increased scrutiny.
“It creates an environment in which there’s a reluctance to engage,” he said.
Are they under siege?
“I think that’s ridiculous. They’re not under siege. They’re the ones going out there and using excessive force,” said civil rights attorney Mark Merin.
“Excessive force” is a term Merin knows all too well. He represents several families suing officers accused of shooting to kill. Merin says the problem comes down to officers’ training. He says it’s too confrontational when he believes it should be kind.
“The officer has to be trained appropriately to respect people and their space and to not look at everybody as a criminal,” said Merin.
Merin says police kill hundreds of suspects each year, many of them unarmed, mentally ill, and people of color.
But there is a troubling statistic—across the country, deadly attacks against police are also up year over year, according to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. So far this year, 63 law enforcement officers have been gunned down in the line of duty. That’s up from 48 officers shot to death in 2016, and 38 in 2015.