A gunshot victim lies in the street. Two police officers locate him. They have been looking for him and notify communications of their location. His condition is critical. He is probably going to succumb to his injuries. According to Body Worn Camera footage, aid is not immediately rendered for 7 plus minutes. The victim's father was there on the scene. The gunshot victim dies.
A very general description indeed of a circumstance that befell two young and relatively new Greensboro Police Officers recently. The above account generates many questions and seemingly calls into question the qualifications of these two officers. Most folks reading this account would want to know more details; why the aid came after 7 minutes, what was the officers thinking, were they not trained in first responder care? Did they freeze? Did they not want to help this poor victim? There has got to be more, right?
Of course there is. However, our local opportunistic antagonists have presented this event precisely in the manner described above and are using this as yet another attempt to denigrate and criticize the working men and women of the Greensboro Police Department. THIS account fits their narrative and once again weak government and administration within the city and the police department have aided and abetted this on going narrative. More details you say? Okay.
Let's add in that the "poor victim" had just shot a police officer while resisting arrest which is why the officers had to look for him. Instead of obeying the law and submitting to the officer's lawful authority to arrest this convicted felon, he instead chose to not only resist but to also feloniously assault the officer by shooting him with a weapon he was unlawfully carrying in an effort to escape arrest. The officer returned fire as the law allows. This fact is not in dispute!
When the two young officers located this "fleeing felon" they informed police dispatch. Before they could administer care, they had to deal with an irate father who was doing his best to infiltrate the crime scene. Emotionally distraught and concerned for his son you say? Maybe. However, this "concerned and distraught" father cared so much for his son that he would not allow his son to remain in his house and made him leave and go back outside. Why would he do this? How do we know this is true?
The blood trail for one. You see, this "concerned and distraught" father did not shelter his son and call for medical attention or alert the police that his son had been shot as almost every other father would do because he did not want the police in his house. Why? The father did not want the police to find HIS drugs and guns. How do we know this? The search warrant conducted on the residence once the police learned it was also part of the crime scene, a crime scene generated because his son had shot a police officer. Is the interference from the father on the Body Worn Camera footage. Of course it is. Was the father creating an officer safety hazard that the officers had to deal with immediately for their own safety? Absolutely! Did they make the comment when dealing with the "distraught and concerned" father that when you shoot an officer you might get shot? Yes.
Guess what? When you shoot a police officer you probably run the risk of getting shot back!
Do these extra little details change the perception for you, the readers and citizens, as to your first impression of the opening paragraph? If not, you also have an agenda. It does not matter if you are a citizen, council member, police administrator or city employee of any level. Failure to recognize the hazards that these two young officers faced in determining whether or not they were complicit in this criminal's death is incompetent and self serving. Nothing that happened during this incident warrants the termination of these two officers. Most of you have not been in this situation. I have.
A police involved shooting is a Signal Zero situation. That means every available officer no matter his or her assignment should be heading to this scene to assist. During a business hours situation like this, that includes administrators and supervisors. Where was the assistance for 7 plus minutes. Where were the supervisors (sans the corporal who responded to assist)? Where were all of these Monday morning quarterback police administrators who are so quick these days to judge and terminate? Why did it take 7 plus minutes to get assistance to these two officers to help deal with this "concerned and distraught" father? Where was the Commanding Officer of the Field Bureau or one of his designates?
Over the course of writing this blog I have been as supportive of our police administration as I could possibly be. I have even taken a bit of grief from some of my police readers as being too "soft" in my criticism or even my deflection of such, recognizing the pressure from our local politicians and civil agitators and their effects on decision making. To a certain extent I can understand why they would believe that. I have attempted to give the benefit of the doubt to most police administrators that they truly have the officer's best interest at heart and are caught between a rock and a hard place. This incident makes that very hard to do now. In fact, almost impossible. It stops today.
These two young officers were originally recommended for two weeks off for failing to render aid to this criminal that shot a police officer and whose personal safety was being threatened by an aggressive father who cared so deeply for his son that he would not allow him to stay in his home and rendered absolutely no aid himself. Had the "concerned and distraught" father allowed his son to remain in his home would a search warrant even be necessary? Obviously the "concerned and distraught" father did not give consent to process the scene. Yet, we have a police administration once again giving into Comrade Nelson Johnson and his minions with barely a whimper. We have an Assistant Chief of Police, James Hinson, once again over-ruling the findings of an internal investigation and insisting on termination and getting his way. Does anyone find it ironic that James Hinson has become the most heavy handed disciplinarian that I can remember in my history with the Greensboro Police Department?
We have council member Sharon Hightower supporting Comrade Johnson and his minions with not one shred of information she lawfully gained, instead completely relying on information leaked to her from someone inside the police department with not one investigation being conducted to find out who is unlawfully releasing it. We now have a member of the farcical committee that calls itself the "Citizen's Review Board" giving confidential information to the most notorious reporter in the city for making stuff up, Susan Ladd.
These actors in this chaotic, out of control city soap opera would have you believe this is all in the name of transparency. They would have you believe that the depiction of this event happened entirely as I described in the opening paragraph. The truth or totality of circumstances doesn't fit their narrative or agenda. Time and time again in the name of votes our council has allowed the most notorious civil agitator in Greensboro's history and a failed attorney to dominate council meetings. Every council member has neglected to ask these phonies one simple question when they rail on against the department and cite racism as the only reason these things occur. How? Just once I would love to hear a sitting city council member demand that these positions and claims of racism be supported with facts!
They want transparency, right? When will a city council member support the Greensboro Police Department and its' officers as loudly as they allow these outside forces to dominate council meetings? When will this ridiculous and continuous bashing of police officers be taken to task, demanding all of the facts to come out? Are the citizens of Greensboro so out of touch with the politics at play that they are willing to allow their police department to be devastated at the hands of a group that has hated police officers for years and done everything in their power since 1979 to destroy it?
Is being the Mayor worth it? Is that council seat worth allowing a communist brand of "transparency" to dominate a rapidly declining city? How about being city manager? Have you no conscience whatsoever? How long can one ambitious police administrator with allegiances to this group with a distinct agenda be allowed to dominate police discipline? Is this what these folks call transparency?
The effects have been and will continue to be devastating. When I joined the Greensboro Police Department in 1985, there were approximately 1000 applicants for 26 job openings. As of this writing there are approximately 26 retirements, resignations and terminations currently pending with no adequate replacements in sight. We have a police Captain who is leaving to go to Salisbury....Salisbury!!! Veteran officers are leaving to take warehouse positions, lower paying Deputy positions in other counties and lateral transfers to traditionally lower paying departments that are matching Greensboro salaries. What once was considered the best municipal police department this side of the Mississippi River is now one of the lowest paying departments in our state. Our police administrator's, city manager's and city council's response; appease Comrade Johnson. We now have at least 60 plus vacancies in our police department and expect it to go higher.
Those who can afford to move and are paying attention to these actions are fleeing the city limits. Those that can afford to move but are staying are surrounding themselves in a cocoon inside their elitist neighborhoods and continuing to vote for and pat our city council members on the back for a job well done. Is there anyone in the city that has the guts to stand up and stop this horseshit?
I have my doubts.