UMSL professor concerned with recent attacks on police - KMOV.com

UMSL professor concerned with recent attacks on police

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(KMOV.com) - A professor at a St. Louis-area university said he is concerned about recent attacks against officers.  

The concern comes after attacks on officers in recent weeks. Early Wednesday morning, an Arizona police officer was seriously injured after he was shot at a traffic stop. In August, a Texas deputy was shot and killed while pumping gas into his patrol car. In Kentucky, state trooper Cameron Ponder was killed, according to police, by a Blackjack man.

Tuesday night, four St. Louis Police officers fired on four suspects near Jennings. Police say two suspects had a gun, and another was found in their stolen car. All four suspects got away.

"It could be what was going on last night was a setup, an attack on police, an ambush," said David Klinger, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri St. Louis. “One of the things people do in ambush situations sometimes, is they try to draw people in. It could've been that's what was going on. I don't know, but it's definitely a possibility."

Klinger is a former cop himself. As a Los Angeles Police Department officer in 1981, he shot and killed a 26-year-old suspect who was attacking his partner with a butcher knife.

 “In that second, second and a half, an awful lot of thoughts went through my mind. But basically it was ‘I need to shoot this guy as much as I don't want to," Klinger said.

When it comes to the recent attacks on officers, Klinger is very concerned, even statistics show officer deaths are down 16 percent from 2014.

"This is something we've really got to keep an eye on and see whether this is the leading edge of a wave, or whether this is just a blip. We just don't know at this point," Klinger.

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