Alexander Bonds, an ex-con with a long rap sheet, shot and killed New York City police officer Miosotis Familia, a mother of three, as she sat in a patrol car in the Bronx. The attack was unprovoked. It was an assassination.
According to the New York Times:
Around 12:30 a.m., as Officer Familia neared the end of her shift, Mr. Bonds walked up to the vehicle and fired a single round from a .38-caliber, five-shot Ruger revolver through a passenger-side window, according to Deputy Chief Jason Wilcox, the commander of detectives in the Bronx.
Immediately after the shooting, Officer Familia’s partner, Vincent Maher, called for assistance, and two other officers encountered the suspect, who was running on Morris Avenue, about one block away. When the gunman drew a silver revolver, they opened fire, killing him.
A bystander was struck by a bullet in that shootout, and is in stable condition. . . .
Sen. Tom Cotton issued this statement about the slaying of Officer Familia:
The only thing Officer Miosotis Familia could be accused of doing was protecting the community she served—until the very end. This was an especially senseless and wanton murder. And it shows how much we owe the men and women in blue, who spent their holiday weekend working while the rest of us celebrated, and how much we need to push back against the toxic forces that demean and defame police work.
I think the shooting also demonstrates what I’ve called America’s under-incarceration problem. In the past 16 years, Bonds has been convicted of (at least) the following offenses: assaulting a police officer with brass knuckles (2001), criminal sale of a controlled substance near a school, a felony (2004), and robbery (circa 2006). In a properly functioning justice system, a “three-time loser” like Bonds would not have been on the streets in 2017. Indeed, he would not have been on the streets in 2004 to sell drugs to kids or in 2006 to commit robbery.
After his release from prison in 2013, Bonds posted threatening comments about how he would interact with the police in the future (he also shared a conspiracy video from Occupy Democrats that claimed voting machines were changing Clinton votes to Trump votes, but that’s neither here nor there). He was on parole at the time, as he was when he shot Officer Familia.
Given Bonds’ record, his threatening comments regarding the police were a red flag — a strong indicator of what was to come. In a properly functioning justice system, Bonds would not have remained free on parole after having threatened to tangle with the police.
Sen. Cotton is right to want to “push back against the toxic forces that demean and defame police work.” But we also need to push back against the forces that call for the light sentencing of criminals and for their early release from prison.