The police were in pursuit of a white car traveling at slow speed. The driver of the car was wanted for multiple warrants including assault with a deadly weapon, according to Officer Mike Lopez of the LAPD.
Most of the time the car circled around a few blocks of South Los Angeles, a mostly black community. As the chase proceeded onlookers took to the streets with their cell phones in hand, seemingly cheering on the suspect in the white car. Police cars went around and around the same blocks chasing the suspect at slow speed, each time the cars circled the streets, the crowd grew larger. During the pursuit, the driver appeared to collide with at least one other vehicle.
The suspect's car had gone over a spike-strip at some point and all four tires were flat, but the chase went on. People appeared to be leaving their homes and going to the street to watch the pursuit live as the car continued to drive in circles at slow speeds.
The crowd grew larger. Soon the people weren't staying on the sidewalk anymore, they drifted into the streets, waving their hands, and obviously yelling although it was impossible to hear what they were saying.
After a while the driver finally stopped in an intersection. The police were in a semi-circle around the rear of the suspect, car doors open and guns drawn, and it was then that the crowd began to advance forward toward the front of the suspect's car. Still waving arms and shouting who knows what, the crowd got closer to the suspect's car than the police were at that point.
Some people aggressively approached the police. It looked to us like shades of last summer's riots when protesters totally dominated the streets. This crowd seemed completely unintimidated by armed police presence. It looked like they were taunting the officers, daring them to try something.
To their credit the police held back, yet held their ground, and following a short standoff, the suspect complied with commands to surrender. The police took him into custody with no further incident or escalation of violence. It was one of those moments that could have gone either way, and thankfully it went the good way.
The point of all this isn't the police chase, although the all too frequent sight of police cars pursuing a dangerous suspect through the streets and freeways of our city tends to take on a Keystone Kops look since police are instructed to keep their distance and not to be overly aggressive.
What made this particular chase so frightening was the realization that the crowds in the street have no problem whatsoever in facing down police officers, even when an armed suspect is involved and officers have their guns drawn. We all saw it last summer. The police standing down in the face of angry, violent mobs.
In many cases the police even running away from brick and bottle throwing thugs. Police chiefs kneeling down in front of mobs. Police standing by watching as rioters looted stores, hamstrung by liberal mayors and governors who often sided with rioters against their own police.
The rallying call to "defund the police" should send shivers up the spines of all law-abiding citizens. We have reached a place in our society where law enforcement officers have been reduced to social workers and bystanders at best, and cheerleaders for the law breakers at worst.
I believe that most rank-and-file police officers are good people who want to do the right thing. Unfortunately, they have been neutered by their higherups.
I can only tell you that I have very little faith that the police will be able to help me or my wife should we find ourselves in need of defense. And that is why we have taken it upon ourselves to do the job we once thought we could depend on our police force to do.
Which is to be armed and ready to protect ourselves if, G od forbid, the situation arises.