Tempe police rescued a drowning dog, not a dying black man in the city’s lake


Sean Bickings. | Source: Twitter

FFollowing outrage when it was learned that Arizona police refused to rescue a drowning black man, it has since been revealed that officers from the same police department had previously gone beyond the rescue. call of duty to save a dog from a channel out of fear. that the animal could die.

It was the last fallout from the death of Sean Bickingswho was struggling to stay above water in Lake Tempe Town when a nearby officer said he would not try to save the 34-year-old last Saturday, according to transcripts from the three cops who were there.

Wednesday, AZ Central reported that the police union representing Tempe cops said their officers lacked the proper training to safely rescue drowning people, a claim that belies law enforcement’s sworn duties to protect and to serve the public.

But that claim didn’t seem entirely true since different cops from the same police department not only managed to respond to a dog in distress in a local channel weeks earlier, but also managed to save the beloved animal. drowning, unlike what happened with Bickings.

“Tempe Police Department officials said officers, with the help of civilians, were able to save a dog from drowning in a canal, local news outlet Fox 10 reported May 17.

The Tempe Police Department even documented the moment with a celebratory tweet showing the responding officers smiling alongside the dog and the man who cops say helped them.

“Thank you to Tempe resident ‘Salty’ Thompson and our patrollers for saving this pup from falling [sic] in the channel today! the tweet says in part.

Nearly three weeks later, the Tempe Police Department apparently didn’t bother to extend the same level of emergency to Bickings that its officers showed a dog.

As a result, the three responding officers have been placed on paid leave while Bickings’ drowning is investigated.

The incident unfolded when there was a reported case of domestic violence between Bickings and his wife near the Tempe Center for the Arts, which is located near a bridge.

Even though Bickings and his wife both denied there was domestic abuse, officers detained them as they ‘run their names through a database used to check if people had arrest warrants In progress”. a press release from the city of Tempe government saidcalling it “a standard procedure”.

The press release went on to say that “Bickings decided to slowly climb over a 4ft metal fence and enter the water.”

The press release says Bickings ignored police orders and “swam about 30-40 yards before repeatedly indicating he was in distress.” It was then that Bickings was overwhelmed and never reappeared, the press release said.

Notably, the press release never indicates that police ever attempted to physically restrain Bickings as he “decided to slowly climb” over the fence.

Police transcripts of the encounter tell a slightly different story.

According to Fox 10 PhoenixohThe officer wrote in his notes that Bickings clearly said, “I’m drowning.

But the only action initially taken was simply to advise Bickings to “come back”.

When Bickings said he “can’t,” the first cop made no secret of his intentions: “OK, I’m not going after you.”

Transcripts also show that one of the officers threatened Bickings’ wife, who was reportedly in a fit of hysteria at the prospect of her husband’s death.

“If you don’t calm down, I’m going to put you in my car,” admonished a police officer with exponentially less empathy than the Tempe Police Department showed for a dog.

“I’m just upset because he’s drowning right in front of him and you won’t help me,” Bickings’ wife said, according to officers’ transcripts.

A protest at Tempe City Hall was scheduled for Thursday to demand the defunding of the police department.

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