We’re thankful that the Winston-Salem police officer shot by a fleeing suspect earlier this week appears to be headed for a full recovery.
Authorities claim that convicted felon Gary Lynn of Raleigh shot WSPD Officer Nicholas Powell as Lynn attempted to flee a traffic stop in the early morning hours Monday on Business 40 near Lowery Street.
Police said that Powell responded to a fellow officer’s call for back up about 1:50 a.m. The officer had pulled over a speeding Nissan and smelled marijuana. Following his protocol, he had the men step out of the car and planned to search it for drugs.
Three men were pulled from the car and sitting on the side of the roadway when Lynn dashed for the driver’s seat and got the car in gear as two officers attempted to stop him. Powell ended up in the car as it pulled off. Police say Lynn pulled a gun and shot Powell at point blank range in his chest before himself being injured by his own gunfire.
Police Chief Barry Rountree said that Powell’s protective vest saved his life.
It’s all fine and good to cry racism every time a police officer has to use force to subdue a criminal or to cry foul when officers, under duress most of us can never imagine, make a bad decision in the heat of the moment that results in a tragic death.
But the case of Lynn shooting Powell serves as a stark reminder of the violent possibilities police in this country face on a moment’s notice.
It could be argued that most of the well-known cases that the Black Lives Matter protestors hang their hat on involved circumstances wherein a person bucked police authority before meeting with a swift reaction.
We’re thankful that Powell is alive and hopefully well.
Next time you hear someone shout about systemic police racism, remind them that officers have no way of knowing if they are one second from being shot in the chest or not. !
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