Unlike New York, Los Angeles police and sheriff officials won’t be issuing new safety warnings to ‘vigilant,’ body armor wearing officers and deputies in the wake of the ambush shooting of a Philadelphia police officer by a gunman claiming allegiance to Islamic State militants, authorities said Friday.
According to Los Angeles police Officer Jane Kim, the LAPD is aware of the shooting in Philadelphia, but has not issued any special directive to its officers.
“Anyone out in the field for us is required to wear body armor all the time anyway, unless there is an exemption, like for an undercover assignment,” Kim said.
“Our officers are always advised to be vigilant, and to be aware of their surroundings,” Kim said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued no directives to deputies following the violence in Philadelphia, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.
According to authorities in Philadelphia, Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot Thursday night by a man who fired almost a dozen rounds at him as he sat in his patrol car.
Hartnett returned fire and wounded the suspect, Edward Archer of Philadelphia, who was taken into custody.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. said Archer “confessed to committing this cowardly act in the name of Islam. According to him, the police defend laws that he believes are contrary to Islam.”
In the wake of the shooting, New York City officials circulated a statement reminding its officers to “exercise heightened vigilance and implement proactive measures.”
There was no indication Archer had any association or contact with known radical or terrorist groups or if he had simply become radicalized on his own — much like the husband-wife team that killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 2.
Federal authorities have long said such home-grown radicalism can present a particular danger, given the difficulty in detecting and tracking suspects who choose to commit acts of violence.
On Thursday, federal authorities arrested a pair of Palestinians who were born in Iraq but were living as refugees in the United States, one in Sacramento and the other in Houston. Both are accused of lying to immigration officials about alleged ties to terrorist groups.
— City News Service