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Pistol-Whipped Alabama Detective Says He Hesitated to Use Force Because of Media Coverage of Officers Shooting "Unarmed" Men

August 17, 2015  | 

A Birmingham, Alabama, police detective who was pistol-whipped unconscious said Friday that he hesitated to use force because he didn’t want to be accused of needlessly killing an unarmed man.

“A lot of officers are being too cautious because of what’s going on in the media,” the officer, who asked to remain anonymous for the safety of his family, told CNN. “I hesitated because I didn’t want to be in the media like I am right now.”

Details of last week’s incident in the Birmingham enclave of Roebuck remain sketchy — such as how did the suspect get the officer’s weapon — but the six-year police veteran said he didn’t shoot the man who attacked him during a traffic stop because of the outcry surrounding a spate of police shootings nationally.

“We don’t want to be in the media,” he said. “It’s hard times right now for us.”

Heath Boackle, a sergeant with the Birmingham Police Department and president of the city’s Fraternal Order of Police, told KFOR TV Thursday that cops are “walking on eggshells because of how they’re scrutinized in the media.”

Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Jon Retired LEO @ 8/17/2015 1:56 PM

As far as I am concerned every time an officer is killed their blood is on the news media's hands. Some reporters are worse than others acting like that is the last story they will ever get, guessing how many shots were fired, whether or not the perp had a gun and pounding on the fact as they see it that an unarmed man was shot by police. Sometimes I want to go take a shower after listening to some journalists.

TBOW426 @ 8/17/2015 2:01 PM

DUDE! He took your weapon!!!! Not sure how that happened, but I know there is always someone bigger, stronger, jacked up etc. and it can happen to anyone, BUT he just as easily could have shot and killed you. Don't know if you are married or have children, but your family could be planning your funeral. If you truly hesitated because of the possible media attention maybe it is time for you to look for another career. Your co-workers will always wonder now if you will hesitate again and get one of them killed.

Pete @ 8/17/2015 2:18 PM

The law enforcement community needs to start voting for who's going to stand up for their safety.

Louie Marquez @ 8/17/2015 3:15 PM

That is NOT a viable tactical option. As I tell my training classes-show me the clause in your employment agreement that stipulates you have to take an "Ass-kicking"

Leonard Mather @ 8/17/2015 3:18 PM

I agree with TEBOW426. This officer needs to change his career. I worked for 35 years at a college that had a "No guns Allowed" rule except for the Security Force that had powers of arrest. Throughout my career during the Finals and for one month thereafter, I wore body armor and carried as per my CCP. Fortunately, I never had to use my weapon (but a college nearby had a shooter that did kill students). My reasoning was: I will rely on a Jury and their decision after my attorney, who was well informed of my rationale, defended me. I felt safe and secure with my decision and plan, as it was the state of Virginia. I have a history of NOT succumbing to Grade Inflation. Some of my colleagues did so, out of fear.

bob retired leo @ 8/17/2015 5:15 PM

The old saying: He who hesitates is lost comes to mind meaning: The person who waits too long loses the opportunity; or, more seriously, delay or indecision may have disastrous results. The old I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6 applies here. The media are like parasites once they latch on to a story they feed off of it until its dead. I hope you recover and and don't worry about using politically correct tactics. Your life is at stake... You don't see a reporter getting pistol whipped do you?

kevCopAz @ 8/18/2015 7:10 AM

I will sum it up Brother, You were blessed not to have been killed. We all should learn from this a very important lesson, live for your family, F the media, F the "hands up don't shoot crowd", F the Race baiters and the Libs & pols....and just go out & do the job and protect ourselves. There endith the lesson.

Sgt. Mike @ 8/19/2015 4:55 PM

Has this gone far enough yet? Or should we all lay down and die when a bad guy says "bang!"?

bob retired leo @ 8/24/2015 3:35 PM

This entire Black Lives Matter fiasco has turned in to a political movement for the liberals against guns. Did you see there was no riot for the little African American girl gunned down in her own bed or for the wounded mother. Just more looting with the excuse of the movement to rip off fellow citizens that work.

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