Chicago police say officer didn't shoot suspect beating her, fearing scrutiny
CHICAGO — Chicago police say an officer who was attacked by a man allegedly high on PCP should have shot the man, but risked her life out of fear the shooting would be controversial, reports CBS Chicago.
Parta Huff, 28, was charged Friday with attempted murder of a police officer after admitting in court to the attack.
A police officer and her partner were on patrol Wednesday when they witnessed a car crash. Seeing a man, who they say was Huff, leave the scene, they followed, according to police.
Video released by police shows officers yelling commands at Huff, who appeared not to follow the orders.
“A subject who was under the influence of PCP attacked the 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. Eddie Johnson said during a press conference Friday.
Body cam footage appears to show Huff holding on to the officers hair, as other officers attempt to subdue him. Huff admitted in court Friday that he slammed the officer’s head into the pavement. She lost consciousness during the incident.
Johnson said the officer should have shot her attacker, but chose not to so her family and department would not face the kind of intense public scrutiny experienced by other officers who have shot people.
“She looked at me and said she thought she was going to 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,” Johnson said....
I recently took a class covering, among other things, the report of the President's Commission on Policing in the 21s Century. The report is basically justification for the federal government to take over local law enforcement. Now there is a truism that if you want to see America in 20 years, look at California today. I look at this and I am afraid, very afraid.
LAPD honors officers for their bravery and, for the first time, their restraint
Los Angeles Police Officer Danielle Lopez and her partner were driving to a South L.A. jail when they spotted a man in the middle of the street pointing an assault rifle at other cars.
The officers jumped out and drew their guns.
“Drop the gun!” Lopez remembers shouting at the man. “Drop the gun!”
It was a tense moment, a potentially life-or-death scenario that police train for but hope to avoid: one that could have ended in gunfire.
Instead, Lopez and her partner were able to persuade the man to drop the rifle and step away, arresting him without firing a single bullet. After taking him into custody, the officers realized that the gun he was carrying was, in fact, a fake.
On Thursday, Lopez and Officer Bryan Waggener were recognized for their judgment and restraint, joining a group of 25 officers who became the LAPD’s first recipients of a new award: the Preservation of Life medal.
The LAPD has long recognized officers for heroic acts, bestowing the department’s highest honor — the Medal of Valor — upon those who have pulled people from fiery car crashes or shielded fellow officers during shootouts.
But the Preservation of Life medal honors officers who go above and beyond normal police work to avoid using deadly force during dangerous encounters.
Six months after her confrontation with the rifle-wielding man, Lopez said Thursday that she was honored to receive the award but felt she was simply doing what she was trained to do....
...The new award marks a relatively novel approach by the LAPD, reflecting an increasing emphasis within policing on so-called “de-escalation” strategies aimed at defusing tense encounters with the public amid a heated national debate over how officers use force.
The LAPD is one of only a handful of agencies nationwide that have such an award. Police in Camden, N.J., have adopted a similar recognition. So too has the Philadelphia Police Department, which created a Medal of Tactical De-escalation in December and has since handed out 44 of the awards, according to an agency spokesman.
The LAPD is held in special regard, so for them to put this award at the same level as the Medal of Valor sends a huge message. — Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum
Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington think tank focused on law enforcement issues, said other departments could follow suit.
“The LAPD is held in special regard, so for them to put this award at the same level as the Medal of Valor sends a huge message to the entire policing profession,” he said.
But the award has stirred some controversy. The union representing rank-and-file officers blasted the medal when the honor was created last fall, saying it was a “terrible idea” that prioritized “the lives of suspected criminals over the lives of LAPD officers.”
The concern, the union said, was that officers would second-guess themselves during dangerous encounters if they felt pressured to avoid using force because of the award...
Yes, we are being second guessed at every point. In that class a recommendation made from the commission report was the US Department of Justice should provide guidance for use of force, emphasizing "deescalation" and other actions. I was adamant that there are two failures in this line of thought. One, you presume the feds know that the hell they are talking about. I've learned there are many good federal officers out there. But there are also some idiots out there. Just because your badge says "fed" doesn't make you a genius. Two, having a federal investigation ever time an officer fires upon a suspect charging him with a knife will only lead to more incidents like the one above, or officers simply not going out and engaging with suspects. It's scary enough with the job. Add to that a possible federal investigation...