Alabama police — and right-thinking Americans everywhere — are furious that a pistol-whipping attack that left an officer unconscious is being celebrated by social media users gleefully sharing pictures of the assault.
Police arrested Janard Cunningham, 34, and charged him with attempted murder in the beating of a veteran plain clothes police detective in Roebuck on Friday.
According to police, Cunningham was pulled over by the unidentified officer and ordered to stay in his car, but Cunningham had his own ideas.
The 34-year-old career criminal, with six convictions and arrests dating starting in 1999, grabbed the officer’s gun and beat him with it until the officer stopped moving, AL.com reported:
Cunningham has a criminal history dating back to at least 1999, and was just arrested in June for driving without a license. He was convicted in 2011 of disorderly conduct; 2006, second-degree assault; 2003, robbery and assault; 2000, three counts of receiving stolen property; 1999, breaking and entering a vehicle.
In addition to those convictions, Cunningham has been arrested multiple times during the same time period on charges including assault, attempted murder, robbery and menacing, but those charges were dismissed. He also has a string of traffic violation citations.
Officers were outraged that witnesses shared the pictures on Twitter and Facebook.
“He was laying there lifeless and people were standing around taking pictures,” Birmingham police Sgt. Heath Boackle told AL.com. “If the tables were turned, and that was a suspect lying there, they would be rioting.
“You’re only going to win a war if you have a good partnership, and right now the local police officers don’t have that,” Boackle, who is also the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, added. “The boots-on-the-ground officers across this country are at war, and if we do not have the help of citizens and local governments to stand behind us, we’ll never win.”
Boackle said the national climate of people and the media blaming police every time they have to act in self defense contributed to this officer being injured.
“There is a saying that ‘he who hesitates is lost’ and that’s why (the detective) lost, because he hesitated,” he said. “If the officers on the streets were not in fear of losing their jobs, it wouldn’t have gotten to the point it did yesterday. Officers are second-guessing every move because they’re afraid they’re going to be judged, by the media and by the public.”
“If the officer would have shot him, then he would have shot an ‘unarmed man.’ Instead, he took the gun from the officer,” Boackle added. “The officer had every right to shoot him. We’re lucky we’re not talking about him killing the officer.”
Thankfully, the officer was released from the hospital Friday night and is home resting with family, according to AL.com.
No doubt, if the officer had shot this man in self-defense when he reached for the gun, there would be wall to wall coverage in the mainstream media declaring an “unarmed black man” was shot by police, but since the cop nearly died, no such coverage exists.
Instead, at least two witnesses took pictures of the injured officer and shared them on social media in celebration of the attack.
— ”Tuesday” (@TuesdayTells) August 8, 2015
— Andy Shanks (@andysnark) August 9, 2015
— Gordon (@cmegalodon69) August 9, 2015
Thug pistol whips Birmingham officer unconscious. Cretin scumbags photograph then mock officer on social media. http://t.co/ioyBIXErhs
— BoroCast.com (@Boro_Cast) August 9, 2015
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