The seemingly unprovoked killing of Harris County, Texas, sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth brings the total number of law enforcement officers shot to death this year to date to a staggering 23 — 23 human lives lost to violence — 23 lives that mattered.

According to a police friend commenting on the story in the last 24 hours — “If a guy like this wants you — you’re just SOL — your head can’t be on a swivel every second.”

The motive in Goforth’s death has not been determined, but according to the Harris County sheriff, the killing was linked to the broader national conversation about police shootings of African-Americans –sometimes armed and sometimes unarmed.

“When rhetoric ramps up to the point where cold-blooded assassination has happened, this rhetoric has gotten out of control,” he said, according to USA Today. “We heard ‘black lives matter.’ All lives matter. Well, cops’ lives matter too, so why don’t we drop the qualifier and say ‘lives matter’ and take that to the bank.”

Recently an Alabama detective was pistol-whipped to within an inch of his life because he says he hesitated to use force lest he be the next headline.

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