Chicago, IL — Graphic body camera footage released this week highlights the crap shoot that is calling 911. Michael Craig, 61, the building custodian in his apartment complex, called 911 to tell them he was being held hostage at knifepoint and when police showed up, they asked no questions and immediately killed him.
On that disastrous day back in October, Craig's wife was in the middle of a mental health crisis and was holding a knife to his throat. Somehow, he was able to call 911 and request the help of police, but help was the last thing he received.
“My wife’s got a knife on me on the bed – right now, on my throat,” Craig said during the 911 call.
“She got the knife on my neck. I can’t move. If I move, she’s going to kill me,” he continued.
Craig then explained to police that his 7-year-old son was going to go downstairs and open the door to let them in.
“I’ve got the front door open. Tell the officers the door is open. My kid is holding the door,” Craig tells the dispatcher. He then tells his son, “Go downstairs so you can let the police in. Go! Do like I say! Go downstairs.”
When police showed up, they were met downstairs by Craig's son and asked him, “Somebody has a knife? Who has the knife?”
The boy replies, "my mamma."
“What is she doing with the knife? Do you know what she’s doing with the knife? Who told you to call?” the officer asks.
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“My daddy,” Craig's son says.
The boy then directs the officers to the apartment and moments later Craig would be killed.
When the lead officer reaches the apartment, he has a taser in his left hand and a gun in his right hand. We can hear screaming inside the apartment and as soon as the officer peers in through the door, he opens fire — killing Craig.
As Craig lays on the floor, bleeding out from bullet wounds and stab wounds, the officer immediately turns his attention toward his wife — the aggressor — and asks her if she is alright.
As he asks Craig's wife where he stabbed her, the officer continues to miss that point that it was Craig who was stabbed, not her. Instead of applying pressure to the wounds of the dying man on the floor, the officer consoles Craig's wife who is not speaking.
“Treating her like the victim of domestic violence – when the real victim of domestic violence, and the victim of the Chicago Police Department, lay dying two feet away,” said attorney Michael Oppenheimer. “Every bit of evidence (police) had on the way to the scene, the statements by Craig himself, point to him being the victim, but he fires those shots with no hesitation.”
According to Oppenheimer, when police showed up, Craig had already been stabbed multiple times by his wife. He was clearly the victim in this situation but cops treated the situation in an opposite manner.
“We are demanding that the Chicago Police Department take action against this police officer, and train their police officers how to handle mental illness and how to handle domestic violence,” Oppenheimer said.
“Everything my father told them, everything he cried out for, they ignored,” Craig's older son Patrick Jenkins said. “And then they let him die like a dog.”
Craig's 7-year-old son is now living with relatives and his mother — who had been arrested before for stabbing Craig — has been hospitalized for mental illness. The officer who killed Craig remains on administrative duty.