With the mounted scrutiny over police-involved shooting deaths, some officers appear to be hesitant to use their issued sidearm, even in circumstances in which firing in self-defense was warranted. Last week, in Chicago, an officer was brutally beaten, but refused to use her firearms because he feared being raked over the coals by the media and society at large. The attack occurred on October 5 when police responded to a car crash in the Windy City (via ABC 7 Chicago):
On Wednesday morning, police responded to a car crash at Roosevelt and Cicero on the city's West Side where officers encountered a man that police allege was violent and under the influence of drugs.
Three officers were hospitalized in the incident. One officer who was severely beaten told Supt. Johnson she was afraid for her life and afraid to use lethal force with all of the attention on the police department's previous actions and fatal incidents.
"She thought she was going to die. She knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to, because she didn't want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news," Supt. Johnson said.
The Washington Post added that Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that officers are going into the “fetal” position, refusing to get into confrontations in order to avoid termination or prosecution from a city administration that politically has to triple check every incident of any alleged police misconduct after the release of video showing the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. The aftermath of which included allegations that that the mayor’s office sought to bury the video ahead of the upcoming election in February of 2015. Regardless, chalk this up as a data point in the ongoing inquiry concerning whether the Ferguson Effect is a real: a horrid societal trend in which first responders are hesitant to do their jobs because of the intense media scrutiny that could follow should they use of force to bring order to an intense situation, even a life and death case.