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Top cop Byrne abhors “disturbing” violence against police officers

Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne says he’s troubled by several instances of police violence over the past year targeting police officers.

His comments came just days before vandals using graffiti scribbled phrases on a wall threatening violence against police officers. 

Cayman 27’s Kevin Morales has more.

“I don’t think there’s any circumstances that are justified and kicking or beating a police officer in the performance of his duties,” Mr. Byrne said.

There have been several instances over the past year and a half of police officers being assaulted, threatened or both.

“Totally unacceptable,” Mr. Byrne said, “And it’s disturbing, but thankfully they are small in number, the serious incidents we’ve had. But they have been serious.”

In 2018 alone, a police officer’s cars were set on fire outside her home, onlookers in West Bay struck an officer in the head and face with rocks during an operation and a man allegedly pulled a knife on officers and threatened them.

Last year, at least two officers were seriously beaten.

“I think it’s really troubling,” Mr. Byrne said. “An assault on a police officer challenges the fundamental relationship we are supposed to have with our communities. Thankfully, they are small in numbers. But some of the incidents that occurred have been quite serious. Police officers have been used as punch bags.”

Mister Byrne says he’s not sure why this is happening.

“Is it disrespect? Or no respect for police officers? Where is it stemmed from, is a total aggression? Is it associated with alcohol or drugs,” he said.

He says officers are committed to developing good relationships with those in the community and the courts will take care of the rest.

“I do know that the courts have taken a very hard-line on this,” Mr. Byrne said. “If there’s something really positive coming out of this, it’s the sense of public outrage by members of the community themselves. They don’t tolerate it.” 

He hopes to keep fostering positive relationships so that they won’t see this type of activity in the future. 

About the author

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales

Cayman 27 News Director Kevin Morales is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience. Kevin is a Milwaukee, Wis., native. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. He's a proud father and a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and U of M Golden Gophers.

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