Wilkes-Barre Township, PA — A video was submitted to the Free Thought Project this week showing a Wilkes-Barre Township police officer parked in front of a grocery store, waiting on paramedics to arrive—passed out cold.
The video, which was taken by KP Crenshaw, shows the Wilkes-Barre police officer fast asleep. It has now sparked a firestorm of online debate as well with many folks defending the officer for sleeping on the job.
To be clear, the officer was not on break and we are told that he was actually on a call and waiting for paramedics to arrive at the grocery store in front of which he was parked.
Many of the folks online are condoning the officer’s loss of consciousness while on the job. They are claiming the KP should’ve never taken the video and this officer has every right to sleep on his taxpayer-funded job.
Cops work long hours protecting and serving, so they deserve to fall asleep while responding to calls—some folks claim. However, if you walked into a McDonald’s and noticed the employees asleep at the register, would you say something similar? This McDonald’s employee is probably just tired because he works long hours, so I condone not getting service. Not likely.
What’s more, a McDonald’s employee is not funded through involuntary taxation, nor is the McDonald’s employ armed and granted legal use of deadly force by the state.
The fact is that cops do get tired just like every other human being out there. However, it is never okay to sleep on the job while in the process of doing that job. Had this officer pulled behind the building or gone back to the station to take a quick nap to get his energy back, this would not have been that big of a deal. But he did not.
Instead, this officer was asleep so hard, that Crenshaw said before he started filming, he tried to wake the officer up. Crenshaw says he banged on the window and then called the paramedics himself, who then showed up and tried to run him off.
Also, had the officer been a regular Joe, rest assured that if police would’ve found him sleeping—parked illegally in front of a grocery store—he would’ve had a very rude awaking.
As TFTP has reported at length, police officers approach entirely innocent people sleeping in parking lots and legal parking spots and they are often yanked from their car, tasered, or even shot and killed. Many of them are entirely innocent as well and simply went to sleep.
As TFTP reported in August, the family of a teenager who was viciously assaulted for sleeping in his truck filed a formal complaint against the Cherokee County Police Department after a disturbing video showed their handcuffed son being tortured by police with a taser.
“Please, please, I can’t breathe,” screamed Daniel Fruhling as Cherokee County Police Officers knelt on his back and repeatedly tasered him while he was face down and handcuffed.
Fruhling, 19, was found asleep in his pickup truck at 8 a.m. on August 1 by a woman who tried to wake him up. After being unsuccessful in her attempt to wake the teen, the woman called 911 for medical help. Instead of medical help, however, Fruhling quickly found himself on the receiving end of baton blows and multiple taser strikes.
In May, TFTP reported on five officers who were relieved of duty after they took the lives of Kisha Michael, 31, and Marquintan Sandlin, 32, who had fallen asleep in their car while on a date.
Although police tried to make it an open and shut case after they killed the couple, the Mayor let slip a major detail in the shooting — the couple was unconscious.
For at least 45 minutes, police attempted “to rouse” them in an effort “to de-escalate the situation,” said Mayor James T. Butts.
After admitting that the couple was asleep, Butts quickly defended the officers, noting, “Obviously at some point they were conscious because somebody felt threatened.”
However, that notion has yet to be proven and is particularly unlikely due to the fact that not a single officer received so much as a scratch, nor did the couple have any reason to be violent, nor has there been any evidence presented at all showing that the couple fired or even pointed a gun.
After reviewing the two cases above, the video below shows why people are outraged over a police officer sleeping on the job.
The Free Thought Project has reached out to the Wilkes-Barre Township police department, but we have yet to hear back.