News & Politics

A Police-Related Killing You've Heard Nothing About

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The death of George Floyd, on video while (fired) Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes and three other officers did nothing to stop it, was unjustified and has sparked days of protests and riots nationwide. The whole world has heard about this unjustified killing by now. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder. Floyd was from Houston, Texas, and is remembered there for his Christian ministry work in the city’s Third Ward. Nothing we know about what happened to him makes any sense or justifies it in any way.

Next to no one has heard about what happened in Grand Forks, ND on May 27, 2020.

Sheriff’s deputies went that day to a call to apartment complex to serve an eviction notice. Police and sheriffs deputies nationwide are called to such activities every day as a matter of routine. Most of these come and go with no violence.

Any of them can erupt into violence at any time and this one was different, reports the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. There was a man inside, 41-year-old Salamah Pendleton, and his mother as well, 61-year-old Lola Moore.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, written by Special Agent Steve Gilpin of the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force, two sheriff’s deputies arrived at Pendleton’s residence Wednesday afternoon to enforce a court order for Pendleton and Moore, also listed as a tenant of the apartment, to vacate the premises. When deputies entered the residence, Pendleton retreated to a bedroom, according to the affidavit. When deputies opened the door, Pendleton allegedly fired at them with a 5.45-caliber AK-47 rifle, according to documents related to the case.

The affidavit states that one of the rounds fired at officers by Pendleton hit Moore, fatally wounding her.

Army National Guard 1st Lt Cody Holte was also a Grand Forks police officer, three years on the job. He responded to the deputies’ on the scene call for backup after the first volleys of gunfire.

Eventually Pendleton opened the door and resumed firing, according to the affidavit, when he allegedly inflicted non-fatal gunshot wounds on Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Cpl. Ron Nord.

Pendleton allegedly shot Holte three times. Holte was transported to Altru Hospital by ambulance, and was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Pendleton was also wounded, and is in a local hospital on a ventilator. He reportedly has a rap sheet that includes assault on a police officer and has been charged with two counts of murder in this case. He had several firearms including the AK-47 in the apartment. He reportedly had the money to pay the rent. His family says he was “amped up” about the coronavirus pandemic. His mother, Lola Moore, is remembered by family and friends as a joyful woman who was always cooking and making people laugh. He is accused of killing her during the shootout in which he allegedly killed Holte.

Holte was 29 and leaves behind a wife and a 10-month-old son who will never get to do ordinary things with his father, like go to church or go fishing. He’ll know his father was a hero, but he’ll never know his father. There is a fundraiser for the family here. A memorial service for Holte will take place Tuesday.

Law enforcement officers are under new scrutiny around the country due to the killing of George Floyd, which is right. At the same time, law enforcement officers face the potential of targeting and violence against them every single day, now on practically every call they go out on, every traffic stop, every interaction on the job. They have the added issue of celebrities like Chrissy Teigen virtue signaling and paying the bail for rioters and encouraging unrest, and a media that fans the flames, all while ignoring the risks officers take daily to maintain civilization, and those left behind when officers such as Cody Holte are killed by criminals in the line of duty.

This past week’s events, which appear to include coordinated criminal violence nationwide, will only make everything worse. That’s likely the intent of the criminal rioters who assaulted police and civilians, looted businesses and damaged and destroyed property and government buildings in dozens of cities nationwide across the past few days.

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