A Chicago police officer was savagely beaten by a suspect last week in an incident that spiraled out of control when the beaten officer refused to draw her gun, even though she knew her life was in danger.
Why would an officer who’s life was threatened not use reasonable force to stop her attacker? Psychologists are calling it the “Ferguson Effect.” Cops fear retribution, even for lawful uses of force that would save their lives.
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The incident in Chicago happened as the officer responded to a traffic accident. Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson explained the situation. The officer, a 17-year veteran, knew that police protocol allwoed for use of deadly force. Yet she hesitated. “She didn’t want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on the national news,” Johnson explained.
The Ferguson Effect is being seen across the country, and is named for the suburb of St.Louis where a cop shot Michael Brown in August of 2014.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has blamed his city’s epic surge in violent crime on police officers who are afraid of the repercussions. He called the police “fetal.”
Superintendent Johnson said the 43-year-old officer confronted a 28-year-old man who was involved in a car accident. The man hit her in the face. When the officer fell, the man grabbed her and smashed her head into the pavement, repeatedly, until she passed out.
Two other officers were injured as they tried to pull the attacker off of the unconscious woman. After, they discovered the assailant was high on PCP.
The wounded officer is recovering in the hospital, where she was visited by Johnson.
Johnson said he visited the officer in the hospital, where she told him why she did not draw her service weapon during the attack.
“She looked at me and said she thought she was going to die,” he said. “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.”
“This officer could [have] lost her life last night,” Johnson continued. “We have to change the narrative of law enforcement across this country.”