- The Washington Times - Monday, October 10, 2016

The head of the Chicago Police Department said officers are second-guessing themselves for fear of public backlash after a female officer who was seriously wounded in an attack last week chose not to open fire on her attacker.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the injured officer, a 17-year Chicago police veteran, told him she did not use her gun to defend herself for fear of public scrutiny, The Chicago Tribune reported.

“She didn’t want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news,” he said.

The officer was attacked by a man who allegedly was high on PCP after she stopped at a crash scene in the Austin community Wednesday morning, The Tribune reported.

The suspect smashed the officer’s face into the pavement repeatedly until she lost consciousness, police said.

“As I was at the hospital last night, visiting with her, she looked at me and said she thought she was gonna die, and she knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to because she didn’t want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news,” Superintendent Johnson said Thursday.

“This officer could [have] lost her life last night,” the superintendent said. “She’s hospitalized right now, but she still has the spirit and the bravery that these officers and firefighters display every day — every day. We have to change the narrative of the law enforcement across this country.”

The suspect, 28-year-old Parta Huff, had been in a car involved in the crash, police said. Two other officers were reportedly injured while putting the man in custody.

Mr. Huff was charged with attempted murder of a police officer and aggravated battery to a police officer, a local NBC News affiliate reported.

“Just yesterday, we had an incident where officers responded to a simple traffic accident,” Superintendent Johnson said. “Traffic accident — now I want you to think about this for a moment. Responded to a traffic accident to render aid wherever they could. A subject who was under the influence of PCP attacked a female officer, viciously pounded her head into the street as her partner tried to get him off of her. And this attack went on for several minutes.”

Asked whether the incident was an example of officers “laying back,” the superintendent said “it’s an example of how dangerous this job is. And because of the scrutiny going on nationwide, there [are] officers second-guessing themselves. That’s what we don’t want,” The Tribune reported.

On Friday, the Chicago Police Department proposed a new policy that would require officers to use the least amount of force necessary and centers on the “sanctity of life.”

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