Instead we have this headline: "Officer Didn't Shoot Attacker Because She Feared Backlash."
A 43-year-old female 17-year-veteran suffered this:
The man had punched her and "repeatedly smashed her face into the pavement" until she was knocked out, police said. She suffered head trauma and multiple cuts to her face and head.When you're a cop losing a fight and a man is bashing your head on the ground trying to kill you, it's OK to shoot the guy. Can we agree on that?
Fran Spielman in the Sun-Times:
A “simple traffic accident” that turned ugly.It took many cops to arrest this guy. And three of those cops were hurt. The female officer is still hospitalized.
“A subject who was under the influence of PCP attacked a female officer. Viciously pounded her head into the street as her partner was trying to get him off of her. This attack went on for several minutes,” [Chicago Police Supt.] Johnson told the assembled dignitaries.
“As I was at the hospital last night visiting with her, she looked at me and said she thought she was gonna die. And she knew that she should shoot this guy. But, she chose not to because she didn’t want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news.”
The superintendent said he plans to turn that around by “encouraging” his officers and assuring them he has their backs.
“But, at the same time, we know we have to change this national narrative that the cops are the bad guys. The cops are actually the good guys trying to do a difficult job,” Johnson said.
Tribune Columnist (and fellow Greek American) John Kass:
She's alive, but what if she had pulled her gun and used it?Cops are getting in trouble for shooting armed suspects. You think she's get a pass for killing an unarmed black man? (I'm not 100 percent certain the man is black, but the neighborhood is.)
We'd be going through the old rituals we know by heart, angry activists, the dead re-created as the victim of state-sponsored racism, politicians cowering and turning their backs on her, the entire urban political liturgy we've seen so many times.
"She murdered an innocent unarmed man!" "They should have helped him after his accident." "How could one man be a threat to multiple officers?" "They didn't have to kill him!" And indeed, they didn't. He was taken alive.
Of course the guy who beat the cop is a violent felon. But who would hold that against him after being victimized by police? I'm sure there's a nice picture of him and relatives willing to say how "he was turning his life around" and would "never hit a woman." Who would believe Chicago cops?
So this officer was willing to let herself be beat to unconsciousness in order to save her family and the department from the now inevitable "scrutiny" had she decided to use lethal force.
So what should have she done? Honestly, I don't know. I'm not convinced she made the wrong choice. The reality today is there would be hell to pay if she shot the guy. Her job and family might be ruined. There would be protests. Threats. She could lose her job or face criminal prosecution. She might have to move and take her family into hiding. She made her choice. But that is a choice no cop should ever have to make, especially at the moment when your face is smashed on concrete again and again and the world fades into darkness around you.