While the nation is on edge from the high profile killings of unarmed citizens and police in Dallas and Baton Rouge earlier this year, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) is currently trying to investigate whether a shooting death of Officer Jonathon DeGuzman, 43, was a deliberate act. It is reported that DeGuzman and a cohort stopped someone in the Southeast part of San Diego, which ended in a shootout. DeGuzman died in the hospital.
At the same time as tensions between citizens and police are high, statistics obtained by KGTV San Diego show that between January 2013 and July 2015, the numbers of assaults on officers increased. According to the news report, there were 252 assaults in 2013 and 319 in 2014. From January 2015 to July 2015, there were 254 reported assaults on officers, which is more than half of the assaults in all of 2013. The report was intended to identify the situations that are currently most dangerous for cops, and can be found here. However, other national studies shed doubt on KGTV’s study, concluding that fatal shootings of officers have actually decreased over the previous few decades
Crimes Against Police (“Peace”) Officers
As one could imagine, crimes against police officers are not treated like any other crime, even if the attacker did not know the victim was a police officer. San Bernadino County, for example, has its own “Crimes Against Peace Officers Prosecution Unit” dedicated to prosecuting crimes against police.
Under CA Penal Code § 148(a)(1), it is a misdemeanor punishable by one year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine just to resist arrest or ‘impede’ an officer from doing his job. Moreover, you can be charged with assault on a peace officer under CA Penal Code § 241(c) for threatening harm. It is a crime punishable by one year imprisonment and a fine of $2,000.
It is a first-degree attempted murder charge punishable by a minimum 15-year sentence (and up to a life sentence) if the crime is committed against a peace officer. Lastly, it is an aggravated penalty to kill a cop trying to fulfill his police duties in California. It is also punishable by the death penalty. Continue reading