16 Aug 2015

Pistol-whipped cop didn’t shoot black suspect, didn’t want to be labeled murderer

 The Alabama cop who was attacked with his own service weapon last week hesitated to shoot the suspect because he feared losing his job.

The unnamed officer apparently feared being labelled the next Darren Wilson (the Ferguson cop who shot dead Michael Brown), said Heath Boackle, a sergeant with the Birmingham Police Department and president of the city's Fraternal Order of Police.

The plainclothes officer suffered multiple lacerations to his head and face but is expected to recover from his injuries, Boackle told CNN. 

According to Boackle, the officer was on his way to investigate a robbery case when he pulled a GMC Yukon over for driving erratically on the Interstate. 

After telling 34-year-old Janard Cunningham to stay in the car, the officer went to radio for uniformed backup to continue the traffic stop, Boackle said. However, Cunningham got out of the car and aggressively confronted the cop.

In fear of losing his job by shooting an ‘unarmed’ black man, the officer hesitated, which allowed Cunningham to take his weapon and pistol-whip him unconsciousness.

“If the officer would have shot him, then he would have shot an ‘unarmed man,’” Boackle told AL.com. “Instead, he took the gun from the officer. The officer had every right to shoot him. We’re lucky we’re not talking about him killing the officer.”

Cunningham and another man fled the scene after the incident but were arrested a few miles away. Cunningham was charged with attempted murder for beating the officer with his own gun.

Social media users largely revelled in the assault, with few people rising to the officer’s defense. Birmingham police are outraged and feel that if the roles were reversed, there would be a riot and an outcry from the public.


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