BIRMINGHAM, AL – An Alabama police detective is pistol whipped with his own gun. He says the coverage of deadly police shootings across America is partly to blame.
The police detective says he chose not to use force against a man attacking him because he didn’t want to be another headline. The brutal beating occurred during a routine traffic stop.
The detective, a six-year veteran, noticed a man driving on the interstate erratically. So he pulls the car over.
The two end up in a parking lot when the detective calls for back-up. It’s during this time, according to police, the suspect gets out of his car and gets aggressive with the officer.
Instead of following policy to try to get the man back in the car, the officer says he hesitates. It’s just enough time police say for 34-year-old Janard Cunningham to sucker punch the officer, knocking him unconscious. He then allegedly takes the officer’s gun and uses it to pistol whip him.
Adding insult to injury, witnesses do nothing to help. Instead, some post images of the attack on social media, bragging about it.
“Pistol whipped his ass to sleep,” One user wrote, employing the hashtag #FDAPOLICE.
Another mockingly offered the officer “milk and cookies” for his “nap time.”
“I believe in God and I think that is the reason why the detective is still with us today.” said Heath Boackle.
Heath Boackle, the head of Birmingham’s police union, says fearing media scrutiny more local police officers are second guessing their actions.
“We are walking on egg shells to make we do everything the way that it should be, not that it should ever be in question, but we want to be treated with respect, or kindness, just as if anyone else would be.” said Heath Boackle.
It’s a sentiment the injured detective knows all too well.
He was unwilling to go on camera with CNN or be named for safety reasons, but in a phone interview with us he said:
“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. It’s hard times right now for us.”
According to the head of the police union, the suspect in the attack, 34-year-old Janard Cunningham, told police that the reason he did what he did to the officer was because of “The negative coverage he’s been seeing of police across the country.”
He was arrested shortly after the attack and has been charged with attempted murder.