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Alabama Detective Pistol-Whipped to Unconciousness by Ex-Con, Some Bystanders Celebrate on Social Media

August 10, 2015  | 

Birmingham detective bloodied and on his knees after attack by ex-con. (Photo: Facebook)
Birmingham detective bloodied and on his knees after attack by ex-con. (Photo: Facebook)

A Center Point, Ala., man with a violent past is now charged with attempted murder in the pistol-whipping of a Birmingham police detective during a traffic stop Friday morning.

Police have identified the suspect as 34-year-old Janard Shamar Cunningham, also known as Janaris Shavar Cunningham. He has at least a half dozen convictions dating back to 1999, and as many arrests in which charges were dismissed during the same time period.

Janard Shamar Cunningham was charged with attempted murder for the assault on the officer. (Photo: Birmingham PD)
Janard Shamar Cunningham was charged with attempted murder for the assault on the officer. (Photo: Birmingham PD)

Cunningham is charged in the beating of a detective who is a six-year veteran of the force. Authorities said Cunningham stole the detective's gun and then repeatedly hit him in the head until the detective stopped moving.

Police have not publicly released the name of the detective, but said he was released from UAB Hospital Friday evening without being held overnight. He is now resting at home with his family, said Lt. Scott Thurmond.

It all began just after 11 a.m. Friday when the detective, in plain clothes and an unmarked car, stopped a maroon 2012 GMC Yukon. Cunningham got out of the vehicle despite the officer's demands, and began to question the detective about why he was being stopped. A tussle followed and the suspect hit the detective in the head with his own weapon.

Not long after the attack, photos began to surface on social media showing the detective lying face down on the pavement. Another photo showed him bloody and kneeling, but awake. In some cases on Facebook, the photos were accompanied by words of support for whoever beat the detective.

An example of the social media commentary that outraged officers. (Photo: Facebook)
An example of the social media commentary that outraged officers. (Photo: Facebook)

Officers are angry that any photos were shown at all, but even more so that there were some who mocked the incident. "He was laying there lifeless and people were standing around taking pictures,'' said Birmingham police Sgt. Heath Boackle, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "If the tables were turned, and that was a suspect lying there, they would be rioting."

Comments (14)

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14

KAREN ALBERT @ 8/10/2015 1:50 PM

"If the tables were turned, and that was a suspect lying there, they would be rioting." THAT SAYS IT ALL

jon Retired LEO @ 8/10/2015 3:00 PM

These incidents are totally unacceptable. What the hell were the charges against this piece of garbage dropped for? The time is coming fast where there is going to have to be 2 officers to do a traffic stop. If there are not 2 officers in the unit then wait for backup to arrive. so what if JQ public has to wait an extra 5 minutes or so. So be it!

kevCopAz @ 8/10/2015 3:14 PM

Once again, its all hell breaks lose when a Black is attacked by a White, yet its OK and not even discussed when a White (officer in this case) is attacked by a Black. We all know why, but when are we going to realize, bad is the problem, evil is the problem. If its an evil white police officer attacking a Black (or anyone) unlawfully then go after them. If the reverse happens, a evil person attacks a police officer then deal with it that way, its not RACE its good vs evil, bad va good no matter the color. Thank God the officer was not killed. As this criminal could have easly shot and killed the officer. I don't care if the officer was not doing the right thing in stopping the suspect or not. If he was wrong, complain, get action don't take revenge and strike out. NO MATTER what the Officer does, there are remedies to correct that behavior. Violence is not the right choice. All that will do is beget more violence. Lets all end this stuff!

ssc1911 @ 8/10/2015 4:10 PM

How disgusting of other people to put the police officer being assaulted by an ex con
and putting it on social media? Yet when a perp is killed by police and the perp is of color there are roits. etc., calls for the officer/officers involved to be charged criminally and these people don't have the facts of what happened. The attitude of the public towards police needs to change and those people have to understand that the police have a very tough job to do and dealing with criminals isn't easy.

There will always be those with an anti police sentiment for whatever reason, they aren't going to change. The only thing protecting citizens from the bad guys is the Police . Wishing the officer involved here will be okay, the perp should do hard time .

Scott @ 8/10/2015 7:38 PM

Ok, why is a plain clothes detective making traffic stops? Why is the suspect still alive?

AJS0121 @ 8/11/2015 7:19 AM

A: Because he is a cop...

A: Likely he was influenced by recent events of the last few years regarding "unarmed" suspects being shot by police...

Pamela @ 8/11/2015 9:18 AM

This is the type of person that is so revered by blacks? Are you kidding me? What if he had beating a black police officer, no pics would've been posted, no social media comments, nothing. These type of people disgust me. So the next time that someone breaks into your house, threatens you or a loved one, call this type of SOB, don't call the cops. "black lives mater " when it's convenient for you to burn something down and destroy what people have worked hard for. This doesn't apply to all , just the one's that have to have the spot light, these people make me sick.

Jon Retired LEO @ 8/11/2015 1:44 PM

Detective I was so outraged when I saw the picture in the media that i forgot to wish you a speedy recovery. The Media should not be allowed to show a picture of an officer after they have been brutally beaten unless by express permission of that officer. Do have a speedy recovery and thank you for your service sir!

Kojack58 @ 8/12/2015 9:29 AM

I am sorry after ID myself and the suspect approaches me in a life threatening manner you create distance, tell him to get down and if he doesn't I'm sorry for him or her as I protect my life. I would also trace the facebook pages and arrest the people who sent them for failure to notify police about the subject and the injured officer instead of applauding the suspect.

Kojack58 @ 8/12/2015 9:32 AM

Get better detective and put this scumbag away for life. He deserves it. I hope you find the other people who cheered him on and put them away for a while too.

Thomas Price @ 8/12/2015 11:31 AM

What goes around comes around !!!

Bonnie @ 8/12/2015 2:53 PM

This time put that offender under the jail for keeps! God bless that officer!

John peterson @ 8/12/2015 7:40 PM

Police lives matter. All you thug supporters will be begging for police protection real soon, you need to support police not these thugs. When the police are gone, the thugs are going to get you, laughing all the way.

Russell @ 8/17/2015 5:37 AM

This is sickening! and to record and post it on-line with its subsequent comments, is beyond being civilized. I don't understand why no one came to the officer's aid. I pray the officer is okay.

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