Last Friday, Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth stopped to fuel up at a suburban Houston gas station. Soon after, Shannon Miles pulled up, put a gun to the back of Goforth’s head, and shot him 15 times.

It wasn’t a murder—it was an execution; and now, those close to the investigation are asking whether or not nationwide anti-cop rhetoric played a part in it [emphasis mine]:

Surveillance video from the gas station shows that Goforth, 47, had just come out of a convenience store after he had pumped gas and that Miles got out of his red truck, she said. “He runs up behind Deputy Goforth and puts the gun to the back of his head and shoots. Deputy Goforth hits the ground and then he continues to unload his gun, shooting repeatedly into the back of Deputy Goforth,” [Harris County District Attorney Devon] Anderson said.

Goforth was shot 15 times and a witness saw the shooting, Anderson said. She added that the shell casings match the .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun found at Miles’ home. Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said Saturday that the attack was “clearly unprovoked,” and there is no evidence that Goforth knew Miles. “Our assumption is that he (Goforth) was a target because he wore a uniform,” the sheriff said.

It’s a fair question—and one that needs to be asked. Even left-leaning publications are beginning to include discussions about the effect that the anti-police movement could potentially have on even positive relations between law enforcement and civilians:

On Tuesday, the Voice of Texas Law Enforcement, a law enforcement advocacy organization, said it was just about to send a letter to President Barack Obama demanding that he recognize “blue” lives. “Too many community leaders and ever [sic] politicians have used false characterizations of certain tragedies to widen the schism between law enforcement and the communities that they serve,” read a copy of the letter provided to VICE. “In too many incidents this has resulted in an irrational hatred of our brave men and women who wear badges.”

One of those instances came last December, when a man named Ismaaiyl Brinsley drove from Baltimore to Brooklyn and executed two cops in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood as they sat in their patrol car. On Instagram, Brinsley suggested he was acting in revenge because the Staten Island cop who killed Eric Garner was not indicted by a grand jury.

“Since the execution of two NYPD officers last December, cops have been on a heightened alert for their own personal safety,” says Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant who now teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. “When you make statements that the cops are all bad, brutal killers, those amongst us that have mental issues or those criminals that wish to make a name for themselves will take up the offer.”

Does the author go on to talk about “right-wing trolls?” Yes. BUT—the fact that these three paragraphs even exist in an article covering what used to be a one-sided conversation alleging rampant and indiscriminate police brutality tells me that something about this latest act of anti-police brutality has the media rattled.

They should be, because it looks like the sentiment that drives the radicals who have latched on to the #BlackLivesMatter movement is working its way into the narrative about what happened to Goforth:

On Tuesday, Houston ABC affiliate KTRK reported that it has spotted disturbing anti-cop graffiti stenciled in at least four places around the city in the wake of the murder of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth. Others have reported seeing it as well. The graffiti consists of a gun pointing at the head of a police officer.

Fox 26 reporter Angela Chen said that at least one business has covered the graffiti up. In something of an understatement, Chen said the stenciled graffiti is “a horrific thing to see, especially for the children and family of slain police officers.” In a tweet, she also cited police who said the graffiti is the work of someone stirring the pot.

It’s not just graffiti; some activists have gone so far as to declare that the brutal slaying “is what justice looks like.”

As we reported Wednesday morning, a Black Lives Matter podcast has declared “open season” on police and white people. “We will witness more executions and killing of white people and cops than we ever have before,” the unidentified host said. “It’s about to go down.”

Some have also expressed support for the execution-style murder of Goforth, who was repeatedly shot when he stopped to get gas. One person, a so-called “life coach,” said the killing “is what justice looks like.” Another person took to Twitter to imply Goforth deserved to be killed for allegedly having “creepy perv eyes.” That individual, identified as “Monica Foy,” allegedly attends Sam Houston University, according to her Facebook page, which is currently not visible. Her Twitter feed is also not available as of this writing.

The investigation is ongoing, and we’ll keep you updated with any new information—but I will say that even if the rhetoric and agenda that these activists are spewing wasn’t the catalyst for Goforth’s murder, the fact that they’re absolutely loving the results says more than enough about how dangerous this “movement” has the potential to become.


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