Hesitation came over a Birmingham, Alabama police detective Friday as he was pistol-whipped unconscious because he didn’t want to be accused of killing an unarmed man.
“A lot of officers are being too cautious because of what’s going on in the media,” said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous for the safety of his family. “I hesitated because I didn’t want to be in the media like I am right now.”
According to CNN, details about the incident are still unknown, such as how the suspect obtained the officer’s weapon.
However, the six-year police veteran said he was attacked, but he didn’t shoot the man because of the uproar in the media related to police-involved shootings around the nation.
“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, said Thursday that cops are “walking on eggshells because of how they’re scrutinized in the media.”
“We should be thanking the good Lord because he could be dead right now,” Boackle said of the detective.
According to New York Daily News, Police Chief A.C. Roper sees the incident with the detective and the reaction of the public as problematic. There have been images and comments celebrating the wounded officer’s beating.
Roper believes the reactions show a larger problem of some not respecting law enforcement.
“The nobility and integrity of policing has been challenged,” Roper said. “As a profession, we have allowed popular culture to draft a narrative which is contrary to the amazing work that so many officers are doing everyday across this nation.”
Last Friday, the detective was en route to interview a robbery witness, when he spotted a car with at least two people driving erratically on the interstate, according to police.
“He calls for backup and tells the man to stay in the car, but he didn’t,” Boackle told CNN in a phone interview. “The last thing the officer remembers is getting sucker-punched in a parking lot. The next thing, he’s waking up in a hospital bed with staples in his head.”