As rioters continue to ravage America’s cities, the violence being inflicted continues to escalate, a point that was tragically underscored when a federal law enforcement officer was killed during a demonstration Friday night in California.
According to Fox News, 53-year-old Patrick Underwood was working as a contract security officer for the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service at the time of the incident.
Together with a fellow unnamed officer, Underwood was monitoring demonstrators in Oakland who were protesting the death of George Floyd when someone opened fire on the pair. Underwood was killed, and though his colleague survived the attack, that officer was reportedly left in critical condition.
Act of domestic terrorism
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli spoke to reporters about the murder at a press conference the following day.
“When someone targets a police officer or a police station with an intention to do harm and intimidate — that is an act of domestic terrorism,” Cuccinelli declared, as The New York Times reported.
“There are currently threats by some to attack police stations and federal buildings,” he continued. “That violence not only won’t be tolerated, we are also committed to ensuring that it won’t succeed anywhere.”
Cuccinelli wasn’t the only figure to address Underwood’s killing; Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf also took time to weigh on the tragedy.
“An assassin cowardly shot two federal protective contractors as they stood watch over a protest,” Wolf was quoted as saying on Saturday, according to NBC News.
Underwood’s sister, Angela Underwood Jacobs, is a former Republican congressional candidate who ran for office in California’s 25th district, and she posted on Facebook about her brother’s passing, saying:
My brother, Dave Patrick Underwood, a federal officer, was murdered 5/29/20 in Oakland California, while on duty during the riots. This Violence Must Stop.
Law enforcement targeted
Underwood was not the last lawman to face bullets amid the weekend’s unrest. NBC News reported that in the wee hours of Monday morning, police and National Guard soldiers traded rounds with rioters in Louisville, Kentucky.
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad was quoted by the network as saying that his officers and the guardsmen “returned fire” when they were attacked shortly after midnight, killing one.
“Officers and soldiers began to clear the lot and at some point were shot at,” Conrad stated, according to NBC. “Both LMPD [Louisville Metro Police Department] and National Guard members returned fire, we have one man dead at scene.”