On August 7, a Birmingham, Alabama, police detective was beaten unconscious with his own gun when an unarmed suspect allegedly attacked him during a traffic stop.
On August 14 the detective explained that the incident had the chance to escalate because he “hesitated” to shoot an unarmed man. And he said he refused to shoot the unarmed man because was worried about the bad press coverage he would get for doing it.
According New York Daily News, “The plainclothes Birmingham detective was investigating a string of burglaries when he stopped a GMC Yukon and was [allegedly] attacked by the driver.” During the struggle the unarmed attacker was able to take the officer’s gun and allegedly “clubbed” him with it until the officer collapsed, unconscious.
Photos of the officer lying face down on the sidewalk spread through Twitter, with one person tweeting, “Pistol pimped his face n um chillen now” and another person using Facebook to post, “Pistol whipped his a** to sleep.”
CNN reports that the officer spoke about the incident on Friday, but he wishes to remain anonymous for his family’s safety. He said, “A lot of officers are being too cautious because of what’s going on in the media. I hesitated because I didn’t want to be in the media like I am right now.”
Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said the officer’s willingness to jeopardize his own life rather than lawfully defend himself for fear of backlash shows how big of a problem police officers are facing. Roper said, “The nobility and integrity of policing has been challenged. As a profession, we have allowed popular culture to draft a narrative which is contrary to the amazing work that so many officers are doing everyday across this nation.”
The alleged attacker–Janard Cunningham–was arrested on the day of the attack is charged with attempted murder.
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