The headline makes this sound bad — and it is. But it is also highly misleading. I’m somewhere in the middle on this one. An off-duty Chicago cop had a kid run out in front of his bike. I’m a motorcyclist; they can be very hard to pull an unexpected and hard stop on. But “laying it down” to prevent hitting the kid isn’t going to work, either, as shown by the machine still had the inertia to flip and skid away and hit her anyway.
Here’s where is gets murky. The officer was trying to help her when the child’s father — very understandably in a rage (I would have been) — and as he approached the officer shouting (once again, understandable) the officer identified himself as a police officer.
1) You hit his kid with a fucking motorcycle. He does not care you are a police officer. 2) You hit his kid with a motorcycle. You do not get to claim immunity from the beat down you deserve by hiding behind your shield.
That said, the father and the 18-year old cousin of the injured girl proceeded to kick the ever lovin’ crap out of the motorcyclist. If it had been me, I’d expect no less. So what does the officer do? Draws his weapon and shoots the father of the child he just hit with a motorcycle.
Here’s the rub for me: the girl needed hospitalization, but was not seriously injured. Beating the cop near to death wasn’t necessary. “He was about to lose consciousness to people beating him,” said the police union spokesman. “He fired in defense of his life.” Had I been the cop, I’d have done the same.
I suspect the main error here was the officer identifying himself as a police officer, which I guarantee he did to avoid confrontation (that he deserved) by intimidation. A better tack would have “I didn’t see her, help me help her.” One, it shows you are more concerned about the girl than yourself — a very important message to send at that moment where the parent’s emotions have total control of them. You have to refocus the fright and aggression that comes with it. Telling the guy, “I’m a cop”, especially in certain urban neighborhoods, just marked you as “the enemy.”
Two, if you are going to use your office, you make your position a boon, not a shield: “I’m a cop, I can get an ambulance here right now!” You’re less the bad guy, and now you might be the lifeline for the injured loved one. Once again, you’ve a better chance of redirecting the fear and anger from you.