The further adventures of Officer Smedley
I became Smedley the day I took a rookie out from the station on a hot call there was a car prowl in progress and several units went on the call. After completing the call my rookie needed to stop at a restroom. We pulled into a gas station he got out to do his thing, because we had not done our checks of the vehicle before leaving the police parking area, I started doing the checks, Radio fine, gas full shot gun in the rack, now here is where things got sticky. One of the checks is to see that the shot gun was not left loaded with a round in the chamber and it was on safe. We had switched from the full stock type to the pistol grip and they were mounted with the barrel down on the floor. This was done to make the weapon safer and to prevent smokers from using the barrel of the shot gun for an ash tray. Some of the jokers thought it was cute to see some guy check the shot gun and get a lap full of ash.
As luck would have it all the things that could go wrong were wrong that day. I attempted to remove the shot gun from the locked stand the lock was stuck. I pulled on it a couple times and it would not release. While pulling on it my finger got into the trigger housing and the gun discharged. The car was lifted up. Not knowing what happened I dove out of the car and took cover the gas station attendants were showered with debris. The rookie was just stepping into the bathroom he dove for cover. We thought we were under attack we were asking where that came from and advising all the workers and patrons to take cover when I noticed smoke coming from under the patrol car. I told the rookie I think someone had thrown an explosive device under the car. After everything quieted down we made a closer inspection and found the hole in the floor which leads to the shotgun going off. When I informed the rookie his first words were “knocker it happened anyway you say it did”. Fortunately the damage was limited to a hole in the floor and a couple dents in the exhaust. I took my “au shit award” with as much grace as I could muster.
For a while the station turned into a free fire zone. Everybody got into the act. The chief was talking to a gun salesman in his office when the guy shot a round through a chair in his office. The rookie was unloading his gun in the locker room and cranked one through the ceiling. Someone shot a hole through the T V stand in the briefing room. To top it all off some citizen walked in with a shot gun and shot his face off at the front counter and a lot of changes were made. We all retreated behind bullet proof walls. This was due more to the citizen shooting his face off than the rash of accidental discharges around the station. We dubbed him the guy that shot his face off because that’s what happened the shot was not fatale. It just removed his chin. All his food had to be put through a blender and he ate threw a straw.
Why people think that the police should be involved in any way in their demise is a complete mystery to me. We are there to protect and serve. There is nothing in the moto to indicate that we are the implementers of suicide. Having said this; I note that a couple times a year the average cop is faced with decisions reflecting some citizen’s desire to end it all. Most just want us to intervene and get them help.
This brings me to the incident in Ferguson Missouri. When you boil this down it looks to the entire world like “suicide by Cop”. He drew the police into his torment with the actions in the store. Then he attacks the officer. Then after being injured in the scuffle in the patrol car, He retreats long enough to give the officer the chance to recover and then charges the officer. He was a big man he had the advantage of this smaller man even wounded could have finished the job in the car. The car is a death trap in this situation for the officer.
In my opinion this may have been a suicide, well planned and designed to let him go out with some notoriety. It is sad but we have all seen this act before.
S. Henry Knocker