The United States has been debating the issue of body cameras on police officers to hold violent cops accountable for unjustified killings like the deaths of Walter Scott and Eric Garner. Just today, the Inquisitr covered the shocking death of a black man named Sam Dubose who was shot by police officers after a traffic stop.
But what the internet isn’t used to seeing these days is body camera footage of cops under attack by violent civilians. This was the case with two officers in Northhamptonshire, UK who were attacked by an angry man wielding a knife. According to the Huffington Post, footage from the body camera of one of the officers has surfaced showing 37-year-old Lee Vickers brandishing an 8-inch knife at police officers Alex Prentice and Debbie Wishart.
The officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call when Vickers appeared from his home, threatening them with the blade. The body camera on Prentice captured the entire horrifying scene as Vickers tries to stab the officers twice before Prentice tackles him.
The body camera footage shows Officer Wishart attempting to spray Vickers with tear gas but failing to subdue him, all while Prentice repeatedly screams “Put it down!” Eventually, Vickers seems to realize the attempted stabbing was a bad idea and takes off running. As the officers restrain him and list the reasons why he’s being arrested, Vickers gives submissive replies like “Okay,” and “Yeah, okay.”
Later, on the BBC program Crime Watch, Prentice spoke about the event shown in the body camera footage, revealing just how close Vickers came to killing him.
“It’s not the first time that this type of incident has happened to either of us, but it is the first time it has been so close. In fact, he managed to catch the outside of my kit. If it had been two or three inches higher the knife would have gone into my neck.”
Thanks to the body camera, Lee Vickers was easily identified, convicted, and sentenced to 43 months in prison. Both police officers were honored for their bravery in the line of duty.
According to the Independent, the Northamptonshire Police released a statement about the shocking encounter captured by the body camera.
“They both demonstrated courage, cool resilience and outstanding professionalism in the face of extreme danger.”
What do you think about the body camera debate? Do you think cops wearing a body camera would be beneficial to both officers and civilians?
[Image credit: The Telegraph]