LOS ANGELES (KABC) --Deadly police shootings and the dangers officers face have been top of mind recently. One person who knows the first-hand stress is a former local officer who shot and killed a suspect.
Sixteen years ago, a brazen daytime robbery in Glendale triggered a manhunt for armed suspects and a subsequent officer-involved shooting that left a 22-year-old suspect dead.
"That memory is in my head and will never leave," said Ben Mihm, a former police officer.
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Mihm, now retired from law enforcement, was the officer who pulled the trigger when the suspect gunned his SUV toward him in a Boyle Heights alleyway.
"I watched that man die. I held him. I tried to help him. I tried to give him CPR, holding him up, telling him to breathe, and then he passed. That's embedded in my brain. That's not going away," Mihm said.
Mihm is speaking out in the wake of the controversial shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the fatal shootings of five Dallas police officers. Mihm says the backlash against law enforcement has been unsettling.
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Mihm admits bad apples exist in law enforcement and deserve prosecution and incarceration, but he also said that many officers suffer post traumatic stress after deadly encounters. Mihm believes that the recent protests - before the facts of the shootings are released - set a dangerous tone for the country.
"Our patrol officers who are out on the street now are on the firing line. This is starting a rash of violence that we have to get control of," Mihm said.