Protesters blocked the entrance to the hospital where two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies were in critical condition after being shot Saturday in an ambush, shouting, “We hope they die,” according to the department.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department described the scene in a late Saturday tweet and warned protesters late Saturday to clear the access to the emergency room at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood.
“To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling ‘We hope they die,’ referring to 2 LA Sheriff’s ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES 7 EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL,” tweeted the department. “People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday condemned the shooting and called the jeers “abhorrent.”
“There’s no place in civilized society for anybody to draw an arm and to shoot our law enforcement officers that put their lives on the line,” said Mr. Garcetti on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I won’t ever let a couple of voices that not only are uncalled for, but it’s abhorrent to say something like that when we have two deputies, two sheriff’s deputies, who are in grave condition.”
Video of the incident showed a gunman in dark clothing approach the passenger’s side window of the police car and fire directly into the vehicle before running off, a shooting that the sheriff’s department said was “without warning or provocation.”
The Los Angeles City Council cut $150 million from the $3 billion LAPD budget in July in response to calls from Black Lives Matter protesters to defund the police, bringing staffing to its lowest level since 2008.
“My thoughts are not just with those two deputies, but with their families and everybody in the Los Angeles sheriff’s office that’s hanging on,” said Mr. Garcetti. “Of course there’s an important conversation going on around policing in this country, but these are folks who put their lives on the line for us, and we will find justice for them.”