A Birmingham, Alabama, police officer has claimed that he decided against using force during a recent traffic stop because of the widespread coverage of police violence.
The officer ordered the man, who was allegedly driving erratically, to stay in his vehicle. But he reportedly got out and began threatening the unnamed cop.
After the officer called for support, the man allegedly pistol-whipped the officer with his service weapon, knocking him unconscious.
CNN reported that some details about the incident, which occurred last Friday, remain unclear. For example, it is not known how the man gained access to the officer’s weapon.
“A lot of officers are being too cautious because of what’s going on in the media…I hesitated because I didn’t want to be in the media like I am right now,” the anonymous cop told WBMA, The Blaze reported.
In contrast to this officer’s restraint, the latest available figures show that killings by police officers were up sharply in July.
A total of 118 people died at the hands of the police last month, a 2 August Guardian article reported. One of the most high profile cases was the death of Samuel Dübose. He was an unarmed man shot by University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing during a traffic stop.
At the current pace, officers will be responsible for the deaths of over 1,150 people this year.
According to Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper, the “nobility and integrity of policing has been challenged,” and the US has “allowed popular culture to draft a narrative which is contrary to the amazing work that so many officers are doing everyday across this nation.”
The Blaze reported that some passers-by took photos of the assaulted officer, and that comments were made online praising the alleged attack.
“It really speaks to the lack of their morality and humanity," Roper said, according to CNN. “People commented on the pictures in a celebratory fashion ... disregarding that this public servant has a family and is committed to serve in some of our most challenging communities.”
The officer was taken to hospital for observation, and he was released the same day, according to CNN. His injuries included lacerations to the head.