Alabama police are incensed that an officer was beaten unconscious during a traffic stop turned violent—and that several people gathered to take photos only to mock the officer on social media.
According to AL.com, around 11 a.m. Friday, a plainclothes detective, whose identity has not been released, stopped 34-year-old Janard Cunningham, who was driving a maroon 2012 GMC Yukon. He reportedly told Cunningham to stay inside the SUV while he ran his information. Cunningham reportedly exited the vehicle and a scuffle ensued. According to police, Cunningham took the detective's gun and pistol-whipped the officer until he lay lifeless and bloody on the ground.
Cunningham was arrested a block away from where the incident took place and charged with attempted murder.
According to AL.com, photos of the officer unconscious, beaten and bloody began popping up on Twitter and Facebook, with captions supporting whoever beat the detective.
One photo showed the officer lying facedown on the concrete with a caption that read, "#FckDaPolice."
"He was laying there lifeless and people were standing around taking pictures,'' Birmingham Police Sgt. Heath Boackle, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, told AL.com. "If the tables were turned and that was a suspect lying there, they would be rioting."
Boackle added that the heightened tension between police and the community has created an environment in which police are afraid to use lethal force.
"There is a saying that 'He who hesitates is lost,' and that's why [the detective] lost, because he hesitated,'' Boackle told AL.com. "If the officers on the streets were not in fear of losing their jobs, it wouldn't have gotten to the point it did yesterday. Officers are second-guessing every move because they're afraid they're going to be judged, by the media and by the public.
"If the officer would have shot him, then he would have shot an 'unarmed man.' Instead he took the gun from the officer,'' Boackle said. "The officer had every right to shoot him. We're lucky we're not talking about him killing the officer."
Read more at AL.com.