An incident a week ago in the lobby of the Manchester Police Department caught considerable attention through a Union Leader report and on social media. We thought it showed, literally, the police doing their job and doing it well in a tense and charged situation.
A man walked to a receptionist’s window and produced, from a bag he was carrying, a pistol. He said that it had been stolen (he was actually the thief, police now say). He then pointed the gun at himself.
Moments later, he placed the gun on the counter and stood, unsteadily, nearby. That’s when police moved in. With weapons drawn (including a Taser device), they ordered the man to surrender, but he refused. An officer discharged his Taser and the man fell backward and was arrested.
The incident was captured on two lobby cameras, and the police department released the video later in the week. They are to be commended for so doing.
It may have been disturbing for some to watch as police point their weapons and the man reacts to the Taser’s electric charge. But it shows the reality of situations with which the police must deal, and it shows them doing so professionally.
It was a situation that could have ended in death or serious injury. That it did not may be due in part to fate or the Creator; but it is also a good testament to the MPD.