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Chased by Man With Knife, Officers Don't Shoot Due to 'Recent Incidents'

December 08, 2014  | 

Two Milwaukee police officers considered "recent incidents locally and nationally" when they refrained from shooting a man who chased them with a butcher knife at the scene of a suspected double homicide, according to a criminal complaint, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Alfonso Martinez, 26, was charged Thursday with two counts of recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident Monday at a house in which two men were found dead by officers called there about 1:30 p.m. Monday to check on the welfare of its residents, according to Milwaukee police.

According to the criminal complaint, the caller said that she had not seen the residents of the home for several days and that one of the residents, Martinez, "had mental health issues."

Two officers arrived on scene and encountered a shirtless Martinez holding a large butcher knife and threatening to kill them. Martinez began chasing the officers around parked vehicles as they yelled at him to drop the knife, and one of the officers even indicated that she was "beginning to wear out from the running," before Martinez finally dropped the knife and was arrested.

The officer later told investigators, "that this was the most frightening experience she has had as an officer," and "both officers indicated that they were thinking about the recent incidents locally and nationally at the time of this incident."

Milwaukee police Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said Thursday the medical examiner had not yet ruled the deaths homicides, but Martinez was considered a person of interest in the case.

Comments (55)

Displaying 1 - 55 of 55

TC @ 12/8/2014 4:58 PM

This is a bad precident. LEO's are not paid to play here we go round the mulberry bush. If it's them or you, make sure it is them.

BV @ 12/8/2014 5:09 PM

They do not need to be in the job if they are second guessing pulling the trigger. You are in charge of your outcome. Make sure you get home to your family.

The Great Santini @ 12/8/2014 5:14 PM

Never fight for your job, always fight for your life first.. I'm sure there are going to be plenty of Skittish Officers in the near future ! I sure hope they are retrained and the training scars heal !

gary @ 12/8/2014 5:30 PM

Looks like they responded as expected to by A.G. Holder... maybe their Chief needs to reinforce his support for the troops before one (or more) of them get hurt.
Alfonso Martinez will do it again when (not if) he gets out of jail.

Larry Romero @ 12/8/2014 5:31 PM

I was not there but it is sad that "that frame of mind" was in the officers mind as they were running for their lives. I just pray for our young officers in law enforcement today.

Tim Huber @ 12/8/2014 5:34 PM

Scary, but undestandable for the officers. I hope they do not behave this way in the future. Like the saying goes, better be judged by 12 then carried by six.

Manasseh @ 12/8/2014 5:42 PM

Wow. I wasn't there so I cannot judge but "beginning to wear out from the running," and "two men were found dead by officers called there about" and there is some red, yellow, white, orange, black or other color suspect w/a butcher knife and no shirt in Dec in Milwaukee??? I am truly glad neither Officer was injured but man, don't let "politics" cloud your judgement. If you think it does, or will, you owe it to your fellow Officers to find a new vocation or a desk.

bob retired leo @ 12/8/2014 5:46 PM

I saw it coming: New federalization and socialization of all law enforcement departments in the USA:
rules for police officers
If you have to make an arrest:
1)ask pleasantly without malice
2) remember to say please and thank you when you issue your request to comply.
3) If they fail to comply , never unholster your sidearm, taser or baton or asp baton
4)if attacked and the perp refuses to comply , you must take a beating as to avoid a riot at all costs.
5) make sure your body cam is running so the media can show what a good law abiding citizen the perp was even thought they showed total disrespect for an officer failed to comply and didnt want to go to jail.
6) Remember when being beaten the media loves a riot except in their neck of the woods.
7) Dont get agitated if the media and liberals never report how you were attacked and the unfortunate perp was commiting a crime when you responded to him.
8) When it goes to the Grand Jury you will be reviewd to see why you

bob retired leo @ 12/8/2014 5:51 PM

cont-..did your job to protect the public and why you violated his civil rights and what you did to agitate the perp to get beaten.

Leatherneck 8541 @ 12/8/2014 6:06 PM

Horse feathers & hogwash.

The headline should read: "Officers fail to deploy non-lethal tactics to subdue knife-wielding suspect for self glorification."

Mike F. @ 12/8/2014 6:14 PM

Agreed with Leatherneck. I'm not even an officer--I'm an attorney. Wondering why the decision and/or failure to deploy nonlethal force. No LEO should let the bullshit going on nationwide to distract them from keeping their oath AND their life. Stay safe guys...

Sgtmac @ 12/8/2014 6:18 PM

Every cop in the country should have 'the blue flu' for about a week.

Marc Boyd @ 12/8/2014 7:22 PM

Sounds like these Officers got lucky he finally complied! I'm not saying they should have used deadly force but it sounds like it would have been justified if they had! Glad no one got hurt this time but Officers will die if the have to keep second guessing themselves!

Tom Ret @ 12/8/2014 7:38 PM

Holder, Obama, black agitators and police haters have set the stage for an officer getting killed or hurt or someone they should be protecting getting killed because of their fear that their actions won't be backed. These two officers should really examine if they are suited to work the street. Officers are not there to run away but must confront as part of the job. I can hear it now when the DOJ or ACLU will say why didn't you just run away officer. If this is what is now expected then it is not worth doing the job!

bob retired leo @ 12/8/2014 8:15 PM

Today in Jacksonville, FL. , protestors blocked rush hour traffic on I-95 for hours and then blocked the HART bridge at center span, a major I-295 crossing and inhibited people to travel and also one protestor hit an officer and was charged with a felony. An ambulance in the traffic was unable to get through the protest to get its patient to the hospital. They care so much about life that an ambulance was stopped with lights and siren running. Then after the arrests they criticized police and an African American preacher, said Jacksonville Police have the same problem as all the other southern departments. He was the only one not arrested. Motorists I know that were in the traffic are perturbed and annoyed and said the protestors aren't helping their cause with their nonsense.

E.G. Cali @ 12/8/2014 8:26 PM

Capt. Crunch there is no way you can be a Capt. of a LE agency. If you are, I feel sorry for your line staff. How can you think it's great for your officers to turn-tail and run away from a suspect with a weapon. At what point do you think your officers should engage. When the mentally ill suspect flees from the scene still yielding a knife? Oh, wait a minute, your officers are running away. So, what happens when that fleeing suspect runs into another citizen and he stabs that person as well. What do you think that persons family is going to do. Their going to sue those officers and your agency for "Failure to Engage" and allowing their family member to be injured. Administration like you is one of the biggest problems in LE today.

I agree you don't have to shoot every mentally ill person every time, however, if that mentally ill person is trying to "Kill" me, I'm going to shoot him!

Tbguns @ 12/9/2014 3:19 AM

I think it's time for these officers to find a new line of work. Remember the old saying. I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Swatguy @ 12/9/2014 4:01 AM

Capt crunch + EG = 2 idiots nuff said

Swatguy @ 12/9/2014 4:03 AM

My mistake should have been MPD not EG

Firecop @ 12/9/2014 4:18 AM

This whole issue will end up highlighting the question; who would want to be a police officer. You can't protect yourself when you have your life threatened because if you do it may end your career. We're headed in the wrong direction on this whole thing. Sad.

Renee C @ 12/9/2014 4:53 AM

@Tom Ret...not all people of color feel that the way things are being done is right simply because of color. I need it said that A LOT of us are sick and tired of reckless disregard for LEOs and the law. Then they want to cry foul when their son is killed while breaking the LAW. I trained my son who later became a Marine, that yes there is some racism in America, but it should never dictate your actions, nor lend excuse for not obeying the law, and if ever encountering LEOs simply COMPY WITH THEIR COMMANDS, and if you've done nothing wrong, let the system work. Yesterday this Marine celebrated his 29th birthday out to dinner with his family, not "turning up" There is two sides to every coin. Not every officer is good, not every citizen is bad, but we can all co-exist if we learn to work together!

Renee @ 12/9/2014 4:55 AM

@Tom Ret...I notice that not all the agitators are black either. I see LOTS of white folks protesting as well. It's hidden racist type comments like yours that lends to the problem.

Jackson Hyde @ 12/9/2014 5:41 AM

Since the suspect did eventually surrender and no one else was injured or killed, some people will "applaud" the officers showing "restraint" rather than accuse them of... well, others may use different adjectives. It seems to me there were a lot of variables left out in the article. Initial distance between Martinez and nearest cop or other people comes to mind. Policy and even law in their jurisdiction regarding police standing their ground is not mentioned. If retreat was required before cops could shoot, why not retreat to their car and call for backup? Maybe a retraining rather than reassignment issue here.

Jackson Hyde @ 12/9/2014 5:46 AM

Lead-in sounds as bad as "Cop Shoots Unarmed Teen" without mentioning 300-lb assailant is fighting with 175-lb cop for his gun in the front seat of the cop car.

Lt Dan @ 12/9/2014 6:19 AM

It is hard enough hitting your target after the adrenaline dump because you are being chased by a person with a butcher knife.

Add in the stress of heavy breathing because you have been running and your judgement and accuracy decrease even more.

This prevalence of the "instant slow motion replay" is a cause for concern for all of us who make life and death decisions at the speed of life.

BearKlaw @ 12/9/2014 6:21 AM

The problem is that if you are judged by 12, and certain people don't like the verdict, then the Feds come in and charge you for civil rights violations. All the while, a cop is guilty until proven innocent beyond any doubt by the media.

Now the NFL is playing jury too, allowing players to wear anti-police garb and act the fool, without consequences. No one takes accountability for their actions. No one follows the rules if they don't like them. God help us all!!!

Ray @ 12/9/2014 6:28 AM

I recently retired from the job after serving 20 years with the department & 12 years prior with another totaling 32 years in law enforcement. After watching all the recent events on the news involving the police one thing comes to mind.

When I first started my career in law enforcement a old timer told me " kid remember on thing on this job you as the police HAVE NO RIGHTS . The public looks at us as THE BAD GUYS" Dont ever forget that,no matter what good you/we do , we will always be wrong.

Jeff @ 12/9/2014 6:33 AM

Hold on a minute...Martinez presumably wasn't black. That means we can still use deadly force if it meets the prescribed protocols, right? I can certainly understand the actions of the officers because it's what everybodys thinking about in the back of their minds - Unfortunately recent events have everyone thinking this way, which only compounds the problem. Holder and Sharpton have been real problem solvers on this one..not

Really? @ 12/9/2014 6:48 AM

I wanted to respond to the comment in the article " officers even indicated that she was "beginning to wear out from the running," before Martinez finally dropped the knife and was arrested." If the officers were physically fit as they should be, and not obese as they have become, they wouldn't have to worry about getting worn out. Obesity is rampant with police forces, and something needs to be done to correct it.

Jeff @ 12/9/2014 6:56 AM

I could loose a few lbs myself, so I have a pocket of stones but nowhere to throw them. Just the same, these cops are required to carry equipment, rigid belts, rigid vests and the like. Meanwhile the mental subject was probably eating captain crunch in nothing but his underwear when they arrived. Oh yes, that's right the mental subject also had to carry a big ars knife.. mix in a little Adderal and other likely substance abuse and you have a freak of nature with chimp-like agility. With further review I would give you odds that the cops on this one weren't Paul Blart types.

bob leo retired @ 12/9/2014 7:02 AM

@jeff:You're right but you forgot one.... Holder+ Sharpton + ACLU = a cops best friend....

James @ 12/9/2014 7:29 AM

Thank you to the officers who saved a life by not taking it. Use of less than lethal force for mental patients is an act of mercy and should be encouraged.
Your reward will be in heaven.

Tom Ret @ 12/9/2014 7:37 AM

Renee-When you have to make the point that there are white folks out there
demonstrating too, you are making excuses and rationalizing for the black agitators like Sharpton who are leading and ginning up the current unrest. Yes, there are white cop haters and others joining in but this is primarily a black movement to address alleged wrongs . By calling everyone who points this out as racist will not help people work together or help with race relations. If you are unable to call a thug a thug because of his skin color then you are the racist and a thug apologist. I would be saying the same thing whether the officers were black, white or any other color. There are some really good black leaders but those individuals are embarrassed when they witness what is going on. Everyone who can see and state what divisive policies Obama and Holder have engaged in aren't racist just stating what is obvious. There is nothing hidden in my message as I tell it the way I see it.

James @ 12/9/2014 7:52 AM

The perception that police have become too militant is common amoung young adults - regardless of race. Too often, officers shot first and ask questions later. I heard a young man remark recently that more police officers are killed driving to work than on the job. Young and old alike, white or black, are asking why can't pokice take a moment to consider how to handle a situation without lethal force. We don't pay them to run the streetsl like the thugs, we expect better from our police officers.

Tom Ret @ 12/9/2014 8:22 AM

James=Have you ever been attacked by someone armed with a knife? Have you seen anyone killed or stabbed with a knife? Do you know what is taught
to officers in the academy and follow up training how to deal with suspects
armed with deadly weapons? Unless you have, why come on this forum and tell officers how they should handle such situations? Tactics are important but that moment you are mulling over in your mind whether your actions will be backed
could end your life, your partner's life, if you are lucky enough to have one, or some other innocent's life. Often times you have seconds to think about it and those who hesitate are often killed. Those young people you talked to don't have to answer calls for service that thrust officers into those situations as part of the job.

NC Ken @ 12/9/2014 8:33 AM

If LEO aren't careful, they'll end up like British Bobbies, who are responsible for deploying crime scene tape, for dead civilians and their own. Law Enforcement needs nationwide, needs to revisit their roles, functions and requirements in support of THEIR communities, with their municipal bosses actively endorsing the outcome. This is a months-long process, not a two-day make believe review. Included in this drill must be a clear understanding of where LEO loyalty to their municipalities ends and loyalty to DHS et al begins. There is a distinct encroachment on the former taking place that thinking men know is bad for our liberty. End all entanglements with DHS before it is too late.

Ima Leprechaun @ 12/9/2014 8:40 AM

That would have been the perfect situation to use a stun gun. Apparently, their agency provides little by way of less than lethal weapons. I agree this is a bad precedent to set and will hang like a stone around all other Officer's necks. A person with a knife is far more dangerous than a person with a gun. Most of us have seen training where a person with a knife can easily kill a Police Officer before he or she can pull their gun. We cannot worry about politics which is always set against the Officer, all we can do is defend ourselves and the public from vicious attacks by deranged attackers. But there are times when backing off should be part of our defensive tools but in this particular situation CS spray or a stun gun would have been the perfect response.

I Wonder @ 12/9/2014 9:52 AM

What do you think would have happenend if the officers did not run, combined with the non-response upon subject contact? It says the subject eventually dropped the knife, and he was then taken into custody. Did he finally just give up out of exhaustion from chasing the officers? Where's video when you need it? Lets hope we don't see more of this hesitation. The knife bought them some time, a subject armed with a gun, will be unforgiving.

XXXXX @ 12/9/2014 10:01 AM

James the answer to your question is simple. In many situation that call for lethal force, the officer just isn't afforded the time to " take a moment to consider how to handle a situation without lethal force". In most cases, the life or death situation happens very quickly. I truly don't ask you to understand this, but before you call us "Street Thugs", take the time to talk to an officer. Take care

J schram @ 12/9/2014 11:34 AM

To bad it wasn't another civilian this purp was chasing around with a butcher knife. To bad he wasn't chasing a black guy, that would've been great. I myself would've let the guy slice and dice him. Oh yeah, then I would've shot the knife out of the idiots hand. And arrested him. Positive police work. It'll get there.

Wardog @ 12/9/2014 11:45 AM

All three of these unarmed men would be alive today if they had done just one of two things. 1 dont commit a crime. 2 follow instructions. simple life lessons everyone learned in kindergarten. They are dead and it's a direct result of their own bad decisions. 18yrs OTJ.

Deputy Moose @ 12/9/2014 1:16 PM

Unbelievable!!! Those two MPD cops need to find different jobs. And the co. attorney needs to charge the perp with attempted murder, not reckless endangerment.

John @ 12/9/2014 2:59 PM

@j schram. You are apparently not an officer but a troll on this sight. You don't "shoot" knives out of peoples hands. You don't have the luxury of missing. What an insane comment.

kevCopAz @ 12/9/2014 3:03 PM

We have all made choices where we took a chance and if we are still here, it worked. But whenever I did that and looked back at that choice I always realized that I was stupid and was just lucky and or blessed that I didn't die! These officers should reconsider if they want to be cops, and if they do they are certainly on their was to being very capable deal officers or with their politically correct stance, they could be ball less command staff! I wish that was on video, must have looked like the Key Stone Cops! I even heard one national News slug say that Officer Wilson should have locked the car door and waited for help! That way he could have then sat in the car stuck his tongue out at Brown! If he was able to stay in the fight and did that he would be a poor excuse for a cop, unprofessional, and possibly a cowers! I fear these two MPD "cops" would have done that, probably couldn't make it to the car in time to get in and lock the doors while watching the perp stab citizens.

SWATGUY @ 12/9/2014 3:51 PM

Its not necessarily a question of being physically fit, the officers for what ever reason i wont Monday morning QB them decided to retreat rather than eliminate the threat they had in front of them. That being said add the 30+ pounds of police gear, the heart pounding more than being on a treadmill the entire sensory overload that goes along with it, then even the most physically fit Officer will wear out I have seen it lived it. So until your information about this incident is first hand knowledge i suggest you shut your pie hole and don't pass judgement on something you obviously know nothing about.

N. Simes @ 12/9/2014 4:36 PM

At least one of the officers was female. Is it possible that this bizarre (and cowardly) behavior is due to affirmative action ... and the "ignore all qualifications" hiring policies that stem from affirmative action?

Fed_up @ 12/9/2014 7:46 PM

I can’t believe some of the ignorant comments about his article. Police officers have a duty to protect not only the public but themselves. Anyone threatening someone with a knife needs to be dealt with swiftly. When I say threatening, I mean capable of inflicting imminent serious injury or death. I refuse to armchair quarterback an incident that I wasn’t involved in, but what if that person stabbed another civilian or cop when as the initial officer were retreating? There is a serious issue here! I so tired of race being brought into everything cops do, again ignorant people. Check out this Washington Post Article. This cop gets it!

Randy @ 12/10/2014 5:58 AM

Well... I think a concern that is being widely ignored here is who is going to decide to take this career on? I work for the largest agency in my state with the best benefits and salary. And we had already been facing recruiting issues... You folks know it takes not only a desire to do this career but the skill. You cannot possess one or the other. For me, I'm really concerned about the future of our country and who is going to be charged with policing our streets. I'm getting old and will be heading for the "Back 40" to post up and maybe come out once a month or so... If we continue down this path of officers deciding to turn tail and run from a subject chasing them with a knife, well... Society will just simply not be the same. And let's face it, we all out here doing this have seen a huge increase in what I consider just flat "defiance". I love each one of you and pray for your safety!

Fed Cop @ 12/10/2014 7:17 AM

It's just starting. Even Fox News (Stosell) is reporting that there are 800,000 police officers across the country and they need training on how to handle non-white people. O'Reilly is on the band wagon too, talking about the "choke hold" killing the person, when the autopsy hasn't been released yet as to actual cause of death. You listen to the commentary, and the people on the street are saying white police officers are killing innocent blacks "daily". Obama and Holder are flaming the fires too.

Randy @ 12/10/2014 9:00 AM

I'm really not sure where the breakdown is with people simply not getting that under arrest simply means you are under arrest and you are compelled to comply... When you resist it can get and will get ugly...

krisnlc @ 12/10/2014 3:46 PM

Do they get one circle around the car two...three...four...before lethal force is used....?

Answer is circles? act...preferably less than lethal first....but lethal if it is your only option...

Glad the officers are alived, glad it was done without the loss of life... Hope this does not become their usual response.

bob retired leo @ 12/10/2014 5:10 PM

Obviously the civilian that talked about facing a knife has never been up against a perp with a knife or razor blades. A bullet wound is usually clean and a lot of blood. A knife is really gross, it slices and dices and cuts up like swiss cheese. Guts and muscle exposed, internal organs hanging. Its gross even for an experienced officer. I was the sergeants driver this day and we responded to a trespass call. We asked the perp to leave and he turned abusive. In the process of bring arrested he turned violent and out from under his shirt came a filet knife. I saw it coming and I couldn't grab his arm . I saw it heading to my SGT.'s chest. I screamed knife, knife. he backed off as it was nearing his chest and I was able to hit the perp in the face to take him out as responding units arrived. This was the old days... so you figure the outcome.... there were several other knife calls and my never to be forgotten razor blade attack on me. It was a really close shave.

mike @ 12/11/2014 9:15 AM

Milwaukee police Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said Thursday the medical examiner had not yet ruled the deaths homicides, but Martinez was considered a person of interest in the case.

Have we become so politically correct that with two dead people and a guy that chases the cops with a knife when they show up and we can't even call him a suspect? now we call him a" person of interest " and to the Officers Glad you're alive But please consider a different line of work Maybe be a LTs position where you can call "suspects" "persons of interest"

SFShep @ 12/11/2014 9:22 PM

This reminds me of the 1998 murder of GA Deputy Kyle Dinkheller. He pulled over a man who got out of his truck and began to methodically load a rifle and repeatedly ignored the deputy's orders to stop and drop the gun. But it wasn't until the man started shooting at the deputy (a good minute or more after the deputy first saw the rifle being loaded) that the deputy pulled his gun and returned fire. The man eventually got the drop on the deputy and executed him as the video dashcam caught the deputy's horrifying screams. When the suspect was later caught, and asked why he killed the deputy, he replied "Because he let me."

I have not been able to conclude if this is urban myth or fact, but it seems Deputy Dinkheller did not pull his gun because he had been the subject of an complaint from a supervisor that he had repeatedly pulled his gun needlessly and was told if he pulled his gun again, he would be fired.

A prime example of political correctness LITERALLY killing an officer...

Gene (Old School) @ 12/12/2014 2:44 AM

It's better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6

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