In a traffic stop that turned violent on Friday, August 7, 2015, a 6 year veteran of the Birmingham Police Department was beaten unconscious and left laying in a puddle of his own blood. The officer pulled over 34-year-old Janard Shamar Cunningham for being suspected in a string of burglaries in the area. The suspect exited the car and a fight ensued. Cunningham took the officer’s pistol from him and beat him with it until he was unconscious before fleeing the scene and being captured less than a mile down the road by other officers.
Back at the scene, bystanders took pictures and video and uploaded them to social media while mocking the officer and praising the actions of the suspect. No bystanders offered aid to the officer at the scene. Officers seem to think it’s okay for their fellow cops to take pictures of people in distress and post them on social media though. The injured officer was treated and released with no life threatening injuries.
Heath Boackle, President of Birmingham FOP said that officers across the country are walking on eggshells in lieu of recent incidents between officers and the public. In a story released by WVTM, Boackle goes on to say, “and now it’s gotten to where certain officers are scared to do things even though they feel that it’s right and what’s going to happen is that the criminals are going to end up taking over everything.”
The actions of those bystanders may very well be the result of being fed up with the law enforcement across the country following a string of police abuse cases. Birmingham police made national news back in 2009 when 5 officers brutally beat an unconscious suspect who had flipped his car following a high speed chase. All 5 officers were terminated from employment following the incident after footage from the dash cam was reviewed.
While I do not agree that the officer deserved to be beaten down like that, I can understand why the public elected to not help the officer. There is no doubt that the suspect committed a crime by assaulting this officer and he needs to pay for that crime. People are fed up with the heavy handed approach that officers take when dealing with suspects regardless of how serious the infraction was. You can only kick a dog so many times before he’s going to decide to turn on you. The public has been kicked beyond the breaking point by these officers and are showing their growing displeasure.
Mr. Boackle says that officers are afraid to do things now even though those actions might be the right thing to do, but he’s not addressing the actions that have gotten these officers into this situation. He’s missing the bigger picture of what has broken down relations between law enforcement and the public. To date, over 600 citizens have been killed by the police so far in 2015.
Maybe it’s time law enforcement across the country reevaluate the things that they are doing to anger the citizens. Maybe it’s time they try to deescalate a situation rather than come into something guns blazing. Until these officers rethink that way they do things, I fear that this is just the beginning of the citizens of this country turning on the police.
People are now scared to death of the police. When being pulled over or stopped on a sidewalk, they don’t know if this officer is going to beat them down or shoot them dead because he felt disrespected by that citizen. There are more and more stories popping up in the media of officers taking things too far. The most recent one is of the officer in Rohnert Park, CA. that pulled his gun on a guy that was only filming him. The police are upping their attacks on Americans and show no signs of slowing down.
NOT ENOUGH? BELOW ARE MORE STORIES OF POLICE ABOVE OVER MINOR INFRACTIONS