West Jordan, UT -- A West Jordan police officer just showed the world that cops in America can actually stop a person armed with a knife -- without killing them.
In video after video after video, we see police needlessly escalate situations to deadly force prior to attempting any heroic action, or even less lethal action, when confronted with people holding knives. Many times, officers fear for their lives over other non-threatening inanimate objects like screwdrivers, and ink pens, or even a spoon!
Mentally ill individuals have a 1,600% higher chance of being killed by police than anyone else, regardless of race. All too often, we see good people, who are in need of medical help - gunned down by officers because they 'fear for their lives' due to a complete lack of training in dealing with the mentally ill.
When the extremely rare case of police officers stopping an armed assailant without killing them is captured on video, the world needs to know. While celebrating the officer(s) who stopped the man without killing him is important - what's more important is showing other officers and their apologists that it's possible to solve these problems without deadly force.
On New Year's Eve, 36-year-old Brandon Morgan was in the midst of an obvious mental breakdown and became suicidal. He armed himself with a machete and a blowtorch and scared his family to the point that they called police.
One of the officers responding to the call captured the interaction on his body cam and it shows something amazing.
As the officer enters the house, with his service pistol drawn, he is confronted by a man armed with a machete and a blowtorch. In 99.99 percent of incidents like this, police would have killed the man. It would be a blip on the news, and the 'killed by police' death toll tally would have rolled up another notch.
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But these deaths are not always necessary. What the cop in the video below, and the numerous videos out of Europe, show us is that police don't have to kill.
In the video, the officer came in contact with the armed man, he then made the choice to put his gun away and pull out his taser.
"He threatened the officer with a machete, officer Tased him, and then they drug him out of the house, and the house was engulfed in fire," said Chief Doug Diamond of the West Jordan Police Department explaining what was captured on the officer's body cam.
The officer's decision to resort to a taser instead of his gun was a split second moment of logic. He knew that Morgan didn't have to die for this situation to be put under control, and he acted with the appropriate force necessary to end the threat.
Because of the actions of this officer, Brandon Morgan will live to see his children again and possibly get the mental help that he needs to make a recovery.
Police officers of America take note. This is what real public service looks like.