Doctor Down

Michael Mammone graduated from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in 1993. Dr. Mammone worked out of Mission Viejo and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Santa Ana, but since 2011 he has worked as an emergency room physician at Providence Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach. 

On February 1, the 58-year-old was cycling down Pacific Coast Highway when a Lexus ran a red light and struck him from behind. As the Daily Mail reported, driver Vanroy Evan Smith, screamed “racial slurs about ‘white privilege’” as he approached Mammone, then “stabbed the cyclist multiple times in the back, with brave bystanders tackling him to the ground.”

Smith, “who is described as a black man on his arrest records, can then be seen walking over to Dr Mammone and attacking him again before witnesses drag him away.” When deputies arrived at the scene, they found Mammone “lying in the intersection suffering from severe injuries.’” The father of two later died in hospital. 

“We are stunned by this devastating tragedy,” said Mammone’s employer in a statement. “The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend. We will honor Dr. Mammone’s dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care.” 

Enter Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, a Republican and former state assemblyman. When Spitzer ran for D.A., his website urged voters to “join the fight to keep OC safe” and “No LA in OC.” As the county’s top prosecutor, Spitzer bills himself as “a champion for public safety.” 

Smith, a 39-year-old Long Beach accountant, was charged with one count of murder, with an enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon, a knife, in the commission of the crime. Spitzer decried an “unspeakable act of violence . . . the murder of a complete stranger in broad daylight for what appears to be absolutely no reason.” 

The D.A., a UC Hastings law school alum, ignored the possibility of a racist hate crime.

Perpetrator Vanroy Evan Smith was black, victim Michael Mammone was a person of pallor,  and the two men did not know each other. Had a Lexus-driving pale person run over a black doctor on a bicycle, and shrieked racial epithets while stabbing the cyclist in the back, the people may be certain this would be denounced as a racist hate crime for the ages. 

With the skin tones reversed, the district attorney saw no trace of racism or hatred. That recalls a similar case from September 2020, in Los Angeles, which Spitzer does not want Orange County to be like. 

On a Saturday night, two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies stationed their patrol car near the Willowbrook Metro station in Compton. At approximately 7 p.m., a masked gunman appeared to walk past the vehicle then turned and fired multiple shots, hitting both deputies.

The ambushed deputies were a 24-year-old male and a 31-year-old mother, both recent additions to the department.  “I want everyone to have a prayer for them for their recovery at this time,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters. “This was a cowardly act,” and “words have consequences,” a reference to anti-police rhetoric raging in Los Angeles and across the country.

As Villanueva wrapped up, a mob confronted sheriff’s deputies, with one member shouting “It’s a celebration! It’s a celebration!” Others taunted deputies and took videos with their phones. As this played out, the ambush victims encountered another conflict at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood.

Black Lives Matter mob assembled outside the hospital chanting “Death to police!” The mob blocked the entrance to the hospital emergency room, where family members of the wounded officers were present. “I hope they fucking die,” one man yelled, with another adding, “Y’all gonna die one by one. This ain’t gonna stop.” 

President Trump tweeted that if the deputies die, “fast trial death penalty for the killer. Only way to stop this!” Joe Biden tweeted “This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable and the perpetrator must be brought to justice.” Kamala Harris, formerly attorney general of California, told reporters “the perpetrator must be brought to justice.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote, “we strongly condemn this cowardly ambush & stand prepared to offer aid.” Governor Gavin Newsom denounced the “cowardly, horrific act” and called for the perpetrator to be “quickly brought to justice.” 

Police arrested Devonte Lee Murray, 36, a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history that included narcotics sales, firearm possession by a felon, burglary and terrorist threats. He pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder. Records of his trial are proving hard to find, but the cause of the ambush shooting is clear beyond reasonable doubt. 

Hatred of the police is what motivates ambush shootings like those in L.A. and the murder of David Dorn in 2020. Hatred of people who look like Dr. Michael Mammone is what motivates someone to run them over in the street then stab the helpless victim in the back. For the woke ruling class, this brand of racism is now acceptable. 

Films produced by California “First Partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom, shown in California public schools, considers the “privileged” to be “a cisgendered man,” “white,” “born in the United States,” “straight,” and speaking English as a first language. Whatever selfless, charitable acts a person might have performed, and despite any views he might hold, people who look like Michael Mammone are automatically considered “privileged.” That means they are part of an oppressor class and deserving of punishment.  

On February 3, the website of Governor Newsom honored two police officers and proclaimed Sean Duryea commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. Nothing about an emergency room physician being run down and stabbed in the back. On his official website, Attorney General Rob Bonta honored police officer Gonzalo Carrasco, killed in the line of duty. Nothing about Dr. Michael Mammone, murdered as he cycled down Pacific Coast Highway. 

Last month, Newsom and Bonta also kept quiet in the wake of six murders in Goshen, near Fresno. The victims included 16-year-old Elyssa Parraz and her child Nycholas Parraz, only 10 months old. Mother and child were both shot in the head, execution style. 

Meanwhile, Vanroy Evan Smith is being held in Orange County Jail in Santa Ana, with bail set at $1 million. He has pleaded not guilty and a pretrial hearing is set for February 14. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

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