The president of the Houston, Texas, police union is decrying "dirtbags" seeking to harm members of law enforcement, after four Houston Police Department officers were shot and one police officer injured while executing a warrant Monday night.
Fox News reports that union president Joe Gamaldi had harsh words for the two suspects — both of whom were killed by police — who targeted officers as they entered a house suspected of trafficking in black tar heroin.
“Now I want to speak on behalf of the 5,200 brave men and women who work in the Houston Police Department and the other 800,000 police officers who are working these streets every single day, are putting their lives on the line,” Gamaldi told reporters at a press conference Monday evening. “We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families. Enough is enough.”
“And for the ones who are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now and we’re going to be keeping track of all y’all and we’re going to be making sure we’re going to be holding you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers,” he concluded.
Three of the Houston police officers remain hospitalized, two for gunshot wounds to the face, and one for an injury to his knee which required surgery. A fourth officer was treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder but was released Tuesday morning. All four are expected to recover. Houston PD has not released information on the fifth officer, but that officer also suffered a gunshot wound.
CNN reports that the Houston PD faced a harrowing encounter with two suspected drug dealers when executing their search warrant Monday night. Officers were attacked by a pit bull as soon as they entered a home. The two suspects, both males in their late 50s, initially retreated, but returned with weapons to fire on officers, creating a "fatal funnel" for officers trying to break through into the home.
"Investigators found no heroin on the premises, but they found marijuana and a white powder believed to be cocaine or the powerful prescription painkiller fentanyl," a representative for the Houston Police Department told media. "They also seized three shotguns and two rifles, he said."
Gamaldi briefly referenced the several shooting deaths of police officers that have already taken place in 2019 during his speech. At least four officers and two K9s have been killed by gunfire since January 1, and three other officers killed by vehicles while in the line of duty.
More than 88 cops died in the line of duty in 2018, and 47 of those deaths were caused by gunfire, according to a Fox News study of law enforcement deaths and injuries. "Roughly 135 cops died in 2016, making it the deadliest year for police officers in at least five years, Fox News found. While there were fewer deaths in 2017, the numbers weren’t much better: a total of 129 officers died with 46 of those caused by gunfire," the study added.