First daughter Ivanka has taken to Twitter to vehemently denounce Los Angeles protesters blocking a hospital entry, according to the department, after an ambush shooting that left two police officers in critical condition.
Ivanka tweeted her sympathy for the officers who had been shot, going on to call out those celebrating the attack, and urging the general public to join her in condemning “senseless violence”.
Please pray for these two Sheriff Deputies.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) September 13, 2020
All Americans should be outraged by the senseless violence directed at the men and women in blue who put their lives on the line every day to keep our families + communities safe. https://t.co/BlcBeOm8iA
Such a reaction came after last night, when two Los Angeles Country Sheriff Deputies were shot in their vehicles by an unknown gunman; they were rushed to hospital, but citizens blocked the entrance.
The LA County Sheriff's department claimed in a tweet that protesters had chanted “we hope they die” as the deputies were brought to hospital, with a video posted by passers-by showed four people standing outside the hospital building as one NPR reporter could be seen covering the incident. The journalist and one person from the group were subsequently arrested.
“Do not block emergency entries & exits to the hospital. People's lives are at stake when ambulances can't get through,” the police department urged in its statement.
The department initially reported the incident on Twitter, and said: “Moments ago, 2 of our Sheriff Deputies were shot in Compton and were transported to a local hospital.
“They are both still fighting for their lives, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” the statement read, adding that the officers, one male and one female, were 'currently undergoing surgery', and that the gunman “opened fire without warning or provocation”.
President Trump also weighed in on the incident, dubbing the gunman, who is still on the loose, one of many “animals that must be hit hard”. The police department, meanwhile, has offered a $100,000 (£78,092.50) reward to anyone who could provide information on the shooter.
In response to a post by his son, Donald Trump Jr, calling for prayers for the severely injured officers, POTUS said: “If they die, fast trial death penalty for the killer."
“Only way to stop this!” he exclaimed emotionally.
Trump has made "law and order" issues a top priority agenda in his re-election campaign, and has been repeatedly taking aim at Democrats for their explicit plans to "defund the police" – the move that has been seen by Republicans as a blatant threat to public order, especially in the wake of the recent violent BLM protests after the killing of Afro-American George Floyd.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva also commented on the shooting, and called the act “cowardly”.
"This is just a sombre reminder that this is a dangerous job,” he pointed out, adding that the police’s job doesn’t get easier “because people don’t like law enforcement”.
Trump's rival, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, has likewise expressed outrage over the incident, blasting "this cold-blooded shooting" as "unconscionable" and calling for the perpetrator to be punished accordingly.