Detective pistol whipped unconscious while people took pictures

By Faye Higbee

Police officers are hesitant to shoot, afraid of being vilified and losing their jobs since Ferguson erupted a year ago.  That hesitation caused a Birmingham, Alabama detective to be pistol whipped until he was unconscious…with his own gun. Gang banger bystanders just stood around taking pictures and mocking the officer.


“A lot of officers are being too cautious because of what’s going on in the media. I hesitated because I didn’t want to be in the media like I am right now…We don’t want to be in the media. It’s hard times right now for us.” Birmingham detective

Janard Cunningham, 34, was driving “erratically” down the freeway, when he was pulled over by the detective who was investigating a series of burglaries in the area.  When the officer confronted him, Cunningham became aggressive, and failed to obey an order to stay in his vehicle. But the 6 year veteran of the Birmingham police force was hesitant to reach for his gun, so he called for backup first.

That’s when Cunningham allegedly “sucker-punched” him and took his weapon, hitting him repeatedly over the head with it until the officer fell unconscious on the pavement.

pistol whipped

“He was laying there lifeless and people were standing around taking pictures. If the tables were turned, and that was a suspect lying there, they would be rioting. The officer had every right to shoot him.” Birmingham Sgt Heath Boakle, President of the local Fraternal Order of Police


Janard Cunningham

This incident is what hesitation, and/or turning your back on a suspect can mean. This particular officer paid for his fear with his own blood and is truly lucky to be alive. After being treated at a local hospital, the officer is now home and recovering. He has not returned to active duty.

Police arrested a second person  and are seeking a third in connection with the incident. The second person has been released.

“The nobility and integrity of policing has been challenged…As a profession, we have allowed popular culture to draft a narrative which is contrary to the amazing work that so many officers are doing everyday across this nation.” Birmingham Chief of Police, A.C. Roper


Just a sampling of the smarta** responses on twitter to the officer’s attack: