It is difficult, no impossible, to turn on the news most days and not hear about another officer involved shooting. I receive reports of cops and citizens dying every month all around the United States.
Here is some City of Lakewood news you probably did not hear about.
On March 28, 2016, several Lakewood Police Department officers located a suspect near 108th St SW and Orient St SW in the City of Lakewood. The 45 year old male suspect was wanted out of King County. The suspect had an outstanding arrest warrant based on probable cause (PC) for a no contact order violation.
Additionally, it was reported that the suspect was listed as an officer safety risk. The 45 year old male had stated he wanted to die in a shootout with police. When a suspect forces a shootout with the police, anyone can be injured or killed including police officers, suspects, innocent citizens and kids.
Most ordinary citizens normally do not find themselves involved in this kind of dangerous, volatile and unpredictable situation. And if they do, typically, the citizen will escape by rushing away from the trouble. Professional police officers instinctively move towards the trouble to do what they have to do to protect the rest of us.
That is precisely what our Lakewood Police officers did that very day. The possibility for tragedy in this lethal environment is unlimited.
Officers, who are ethical and professional, realize they do not have 100% control over a high profile incident. They are only able to work from a reactionary posture. At best, they can try to guide the suspect’s behavior to a successful and safe conclusion. The rest is up to the suspect.
The end result is a product of the suspect’s decisions and actions. The suspect dictates the end result, not the cops.
It is like a life-equation. Suspect acts + cops react = Outcome. When suspects comply, the outcome is most likely to be the best outcome we can hope for.
In this case the suspect stood at the end of a dead end road and demanded that the officers shoot him. This action is referred to as “suicide by cop”. Had the suspect threatened the officers with a weapon or anything that might appear to be a covert weapon such as a firearm disguised as a cell phone, the officers would have been pushed into using lethal force resulting in shots fired.
After one hour of patient negotiation, the suspect agreed to surrender.
Now is a good time to ask the important key question I posed in a previous article titled Westside Story – No Shots Fired, and I quote, “Did the suspect comply with the officer’s instructions or commands?” The answer in this case is “Yes”, which equates with no shots fired. **
The officers made arrangements for the suspect to be transferred to King County along with advising authorities of the suspect’s mental health issues.
Thank you Lakewood Police for your service to the citizens of Lakewood. All of you on this particular incident scene provided another example of supporting the first principle listed in the Lakewood Police Department Mission Statement, “Protect Life And Property”.
**Author’s note: While in the past many of my articles have included quotes from others such as Mark Twain, it appears I have written enough articles during the past 5 years, that I am now able to quote myself. I am not sure what to make of that.