In my post “The People Against the Police,” I predicted instances of the public lashing out against police officers such as occurred Friday night, when sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was shot dead in a “cold-blooded execution” by an assailant while gassing his vehicle near Houston TX.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman announced that Shannon J. Miles, 30, a person who had been in custody since early Saturday morning, is charged with capital murder.
Investigators say Goforth had worked an accident scene at around 8:30 pm, then went to a gas station. As he was pumping gas, detectives say Miles approached Goforth from behind, said nothing and fired multiple shots. The Houston Chronicle says: “Even after Goforth fell to the ground, the man continued firing shot after shot into his body before fleeing in a red or maroon Ford Ranger pickup.
Goforth was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a news conference early Saturday afternoon, a visibly angry Hickman said that “the working motive for this at this point is absolute madness.” Hickman lashed out at what he called “incendiary rhetoric” about law enforcement.
Hickman said the motive for the killing had not been determined but investigators would look at whether Miles, who is black, was motivated by anger over recent killings elsewhere of black men by police that have spawned the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement. Officials say Goforth had no previous interaction with Miles.
An angry and shaken District Attorney Devon Anderson said while there will always be “a few bad apples” that “vast majority of police officers are good,” she said. That’s true, but it sidesteps the fact that a police culture has evolved nationally which views the police officer as warrior and the average citizen as the enemy. Think of an apple crate in which rot has been steadily spreading to even the good apples.
Goforth was apparently guilty of nothing more than wearing his deputy’s uniform. His murder appears to be a purely opportunistic crime. This type of incident will likely become a more common thing until the police do something to reform their culture and redeem themselves in the eyes of the people.
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