Iowa’s political community is responding to the slayings of two central Iowa police officers.
Officials and candidates of all political stripes are expressing their condolences to the families of the two officers and their support of Iowa’s law enforcement agencies.
Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds issued a statement at 6 a.m., saying an attack on police “is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans.” Attorney General Tom Miller called the “senseless murders of two police officers” a “numbing loss.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has cancelled a get-out-the-vote event in Des Moines this evening that was to feature former President Bill Clinton and Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, due to the “tragic” shootings. Congressional candidates have issued statements, using words like “devastating” and “horrible” to describe the deadly ambushes.
Ken Sagar, the president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, issued a pointed statement. Sagar said the “cowardly attack is reprehensible and apparently fueled by the hate atmosphere that is dividing this country.” The suspect posted a video on YouTube in October, complaining he was kicked out of an Urbandale High School football game after waving a Confederate flag in the stands.
The bishop of the Des Moines Catholic Diocese has issued a statement, too. Bishop Richard Pates said “this painful moment calls for a full investigation of the incidents, a response of justice and a continuing conversation of the entire community in seeking to resolve conflict in a peaceful manner.” Pates also said the “proliferation of guns which makes such violence possible in the first place” is a concern.
Read the full statements below, in the order they were issued/received by Radio Iowa:
6:01 am From the office of Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds: “The governor and lt. governor have been alerted to the attacks on law enforcement this morning. Shortly after the shootings, our office was briefed by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on the shootings. DPS is working hand in hand with local law enforcement in the investigation. We will continue monitoring and working with law enforcement in the interest of public safety.
An attack on public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans. We call on Iowans to support our law enforcement officials in bringing this suspect to justice. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the police officers who were tragically killed in the line of duty as well as the officers who continue to put themselves in harm’s way.”
7:14 a.m. Iowa time. WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) issued the following statement on the loss of two Iowa police officers who were killed in the line of duty, in an apparent ambush attack:
“My thoughts and prayers are with the two Iowa police officers who were killed in the line of duty, as well as their families and the entire Iowa law enforcement community as they face this devastating loss.
“Although the investigation is still unfolding, what appears to be an ambush attack of police in the line of duty is an attack on the community at large and all of the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us. This was a senseless act of violence and it cannot be tolerated.”
8:24 a.m. Iowa time: U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement regarding the killing in Iowa of two on-duty police officers overnight.
“Barbara and I are praying for the families, fellow officers and loved ones of two of Iowa’s finest today. These officers were killed in what appears to be an unprovoked and cold-blooded act.
“Every day, our law enforcement officers go to work to keep us safe. No matter the circumstances, they answer the call in communities across Iowa. We all keep the officers in Des Moines, Urbandale and throughout Iowa in our thoughts as they respond to an ongoing dangerous situation.”
8:31 a.m. Des Moines – Third district congressional candidate Jim Mowrer, candidate for Iowa’s Third District, released the following statement this morning, after two police officers were killed in the line of duty:
“I was deeply saddened to learn this morning of the horrible attack on our Des Moines and Urbandale police officers. We need to ensure that those who serve and protect our communities can do so safely and that they have all the resources they require to do their jobs and come home every day. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two officers as well as with their brothers and sisters on the force, now working hard to catch the perpetrator and bring him to justice.”
8:45 a.m. DES MOINES – Iowa Congressman David Young released the following statement after news a Des Moines police officer and Urbandale police officer were killed in the line of duty early this morning in ambush attacks.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two officers who were killed this morning in cowardly and senseless attacks. As we continue to learn more about these horrific shootings, we must stand together united as a community to ensure whoever is responsible is brought to justice. I’ve been in contact with – and offered our support to – local and state officials to help provide any federal assistance needed. May God bless and protect our brave men and women who serve to protect us each day.”
9:21 a.m. From Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s Iowa campaign: Due to the tragic shooting of Des Moines and Urbandale police officers last night, the Des Moines Get Out the Vote event with Tim Kaine, President Bill Clinton, and Ben Harper at the Des Moines Social Club has been canceled.
9:26 a.m. From Ken Sagar, president Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO: “We wish to offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the two metro police officers who were ambushed last night.
“This cowardly attack is reprehensible and apparently fueled by the hate atmosphere that is dividing this country.
“We ask people to pause and reflect and remember that these public servants died in the line of duty, protecting us.”
9:42 a.m. First District Congressional Candidate Monica Vernon released the following statement after the shooting deaths of two central Iowa police officers earlier this morning:
“My heart goes out to the families of the two police officers who were so tragically killed serving their communities in the line of duty. These acts are truly unconscionable. The brave men and women who serve and protect us need our full support and I urge anyone with information on these devastating events to please contact your local police department.”
10:01 a.m. DES MOINES – Attorney General Tom Miller released the following statement regarding the overnight shooting deaths of two police officers from Des Moines and Urbandale:
“There are no words to adequately express my sorrow and heartache over the senseless murders of two police officers in the line of duty. I offer my deepest condolences to these officers’ families, their law enforcement colleagues, and loved ones.
As Iowans, we are thankful for these two law enforcement heroes who tragically lost their lives. We are grateful for all the men and women in uniform who selflessly risk everything to protect us and keep our communities safe.
I hope law enforcement officers across our state, who are feeling a profoundly numbing loss, can take at least some solace and comfort from the gratitude and support they have from Iowans.”
10:19 Statement Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines Catholic Diocese: “In the wake of the tragic shootings in Des Moines and Urbandale, the Catholic community extends heartfelt prayer and sympathy to the families and friends of the two police officers who were killed in the line of duty this morning.
We also offer condolences to all those charged with public safety in the Des Moines area, especially Chief Dana Wingert of Des Moines and Chief Ross McCarty of Urbandale and their respective police forces. We stand in solidarity with you.
This painful moment calls for a full investigation of the incidents, a response of justice and a continuing conversation of the entire community in seeking to resolve conflict in a peaceful manner. Among the concerns, one that has been highlighted by police and those protecting us as needing to be firmly addressed, is the widespread proliferation of guns which makes such violence possible in the first place.
May all of us working together find the courage to move forward in a manner that brings peace to our beloved community.”
10:47 a.m. DES MOINES – IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire issued the following statement in response to the deadly shootings of two Central Iowa police officers:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the Des Moines and Urbandale police officers killed in this morning’s shootings. This despicable act of cowardice has no excuse. Our men and women in uniform risk their lives every day, and these brave officers paid the ultimate price for their dedication to keeping our communities safe.
“As authorities gather more information related to this horrific incident, we know that they will continue to keep us safe as they grieve for their fallen colleagues.”
11:06 a.m. DES MOINES, Iowa – In response to the fatal shootings of two police officers in the Des Moines metro area early this morning, Democratic US Senate candidate Patty Judge issued the following statement:
“My heart goes out to the officers who were fatally shot, their families, and their fellow officers. This cowardly and senseless act of violence does not represent who we are as Iowans or Americans, and I am proud of our communities coming together to support our first responders. To have such a tragedy occur in our own backyard is a stark reminder of the sacrifices police officers, all first responders, and their families make to keep us safe. They are all in my thoughts and prayers every day.”
11:02 a.m. Iowa City, IA – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today following the shooting of two Des Moines area Law Enforcement officers.
“The shooting of two law enforcement officers from Des Moines and Urbandale early this morning is beyond tragic. My thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and fellow police officers of those who were killed. Police officers are sworn to protect and defend our communities and an attack any of them is unconscionable. I commend the hard work of law enforcement statewide for bringing the suspect in to custody in such a swift manner. I stand ready to support the community and police departments in any way I can be of assistance.”
11:17 a.m. DES MOINES – AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement in regard to the early morning shooting of two police officers:
“We are completely devastated for the families and colleagues of the Urbandale police officer and the Des Moines police officer killed early this morning. No words can accurately reflect the horrific nature of this cowardly ambush attack.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Urbandale Police Department, the Des Moines Police Department, and all of the men and women who put their lives on the line for our safety each and every day.”
11:45 a.m. (DES MOINES) – Today, Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds released further statements today expressing sorrow for the two police officers who were murdered earlier this morning and praised state and local officials for their actions in apprehending the suspect.
“Earlier this morning, like Iowans across our state, I woke to the tragic news of the horrific murders of Sgt. Beminio and Officer. Martin. I struggle to fully express the sorrow and sadness I feel for the families of our fallen officers, their departments, and their communities. The thoughts and prayers of Chris and I go out to the families of these officers and to those who served beside them.
I am thankful for the swift arrest of the suspect and the joint efforts of state and local officials to make the arrest possible. I have asked the Department of Public Safety to assist local officials with the investigation if needed. State public safety officials stand ready to see justice served and safety maintained.
As I said this morning, an attack on our public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans. Our state and our law enforcement community are hurting right now. Today is a time for mourning. Today is also a time to come together, as Iowans always do, in support of these fallen officers, their families, and all those working to protect and serve in our state.” –Gov. Terry Branstad
“Like so many, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the murders of Sgt. Beminio and Officer Martin. First and foremost, my family and I offer our prayers for the victims’ families and all of our law enforcement community. We mourn these heartbreaking losses.
I am also reminded of the job our law enforcement officers are asked to perform day in and day out and how valiantly they do so. I also join Gov. Branstad in applauding the swift work of state and local law enforcement in the apprehension of the suspect.
Today’s devastating news will undoubtedly affect all Iowans. The coming days will be difficult. I want our law enforcement community to know we stand with you, value your service for us, and you have our unwavering support. I hope everyone will keep the victims and their families in their prayers and support our law enforcement community through this trying time.” –Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds
12:22 p.m. Washington, D.C. – Congressman Steve King released the following statement concerning the ambush and murder of two Iowa police officers early this morning in Des Moines:
“Our hearts and prayers are with the families of our two Des Moines metro police officers who were tragically murdered early this morning,” said King. “This is a sickening tragedy experienced by our state and Nation today, and this is a very important time for us to stand together in support of our men and women in Blue. Please join me in continued prayer for the affected families and for all of our law enforcement officers. They have lost two of their own and we have lost two of our heroes.”
Congressman King has ordered all of his district offices to lower their flags to half-staff in honor of the two officers whose lives were tragically lost today.