Birmingham police official outraged at anti-cop media coverage: ‘Law enforcement portrayed as criminals’
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — More details have emerged in the alleged assault of a Birmingham Police officer that took place last Friday during a traffic stop.
According to incident reports, the detective stopped a Yukon in Birmingham, possibly in connection with some burglaries in the area. The detective, a six-year veteran of the force, told the suspect to stay in the vehicle, but the suspect got out anyway and a struggle followed. During the confrontation, police say 34-year-old Jenard Shamar Cunningham took the detective’s gun and beat him in the head until he was unconscious.
Cunningham and another man in the vehicle fled and were eventually taken into custody after an extensive search. Cunningham has a criminal record and is now charged with attempted murder. The second suspect was released without charges.
The detective was treated at UAB Hospital, and spent the weekend recovering at home.
Birmingham police Sgt. Heath Boackle, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 1, was on Fox & Friends Monday morning to discuss the incident in the larger context of increased confrontation between police officers and citizens.
“Across the country local law enforcement – state, county, municipalities – the boots-on-the-ground officers are the ones dealing with these people in day-to-day operations,” Boackle said, “and they’re hesitant because they’re always portrayed in the media here lately as the criminals, and the criminals are like the victims and the media is just taking it and running with it.”
Boackle expressed frustration with the unwillingness of bystanders to help the injured detective. Instead of lending a helping hand, a crowd of bystanders posted photos on Facebook and Twitter that included some less than police-friendly captions.
“It’s really sickening to our law abiding citizens that anyone would celebrate the injuries of a public servant,”
Birmingham police Chief A.C. Roper said over the weekend. “We should all be thankful that we have men and women like him who are willing to sacrifice themselves for a safer society.”
“Since Ferguson, people in your line of work are second-guessing everything they do,” Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy said to Boackle. “It sounds like this particular police officer had every right to shoot this man who attacked him.”
“That’s correct,” Boackle said. “Not only would you be covering Ferguson this morning, but you would be covering what we’re talking about in a totally different situation.”