As a thief was trying to escape with a stolen car, he ran over a police officer and a teen boy, leaving both of them with severe injuries. From his hospital bed, the officer gave the disturbing reason he let the criminal nearly kill him.
College Park Police Officer Ivory Morris miraculously survived a deadly encounter with a car thief and his two accomplices. However, it’s the Georgia police officer’s explanation for refusing to use lethal force to protect his own life that has made headlines.
As anti-police sentiment rages on, policy changes and funding issues aren’t the only aspects of the job that have officers concerned. Disturbingly, many violent criminals seem emboldened by this cultural shift, knowing that a huge swath of the public will support their violent resistance as long as they claim they feared for their lives.
According to WSB-TV, Morris was helping out his department on his day off when he spotted a stolen luxury vehicle. When he drove up to the SUV, it took off, leaving behind a 15-year-old male accomplice. While Morris was detaining the teen, the car thief returned and pulled up next to the young suspect, allowing him to grab onto the hood of the car with Morris still holding onto him.
Police say that the driver then jerked the wheel of the vehicle, sending Morris and the teen suspect to the ground. It was then that the car thief came speeding toward the pair, intentionally trying to run over the officer. Morris admits he simply watched as the car raced toward him, running over both himself and the 15-year-old boy.
Morris was rushed to the hospital for treatment for a severely broken leg as well as other minor injuries. The teen suspect, however, was run over at his mid-section, leaving him critically injured.
Although Morris admits he had sufficient time to neutralize the deadly threat, he chose to keep his sidearm holstered, allowing the driver to try to kill him. From his hospital bed, he explained that he decided not to fire at the criminal because he didn’t want to take the life of a child away from their mother, revealing that the driver was 17 years old.
“When I was on top of that car, I had my other hand free to reach for the gun but I said, ‘I don’t want to, I don’t want to pull it,” Morris said. “I was looking in that kid’s eyes. I was like, ‘I don’t want to hurt this kid.’ I didn’t want to take nobody’s kid away from them.”
Morris explained that he lay on the ground after being run over and expected the thief to return to kill him. Fortunately, the suspect fled the scene, leaving the officer and the 15-year-old to their injuries.
“I thought I was just dreaming. I thought they were going to run me over again,” Morris said.
Morris’ supervisor confirmed that deadly force was justified as the driver intentionally ran over the officer. Still, Morris was prevented by his own conscience.
“He just wouldn’t do it. His life was at risk. He was run over by the vehicle and he just couldn’t do it,” the supervisor said.
As admirable as it seems for an officer to hesitate when taking a life, his decision risked not only his life but that of another teen. The irony in his explanation was that his choice could’ve easily resulted in the mother of the 15-year-old losing her child as well as his loved ones suffering from his own death. Additionally, a deadly criminal was allowed to escape and endanger the lives of innocent civilians.
Many police officers are now hesitant to defend their own lives because of the hazards they face for rightfully doing so. Major lawsuits, prison time, ruined livelihoods, and threats against their loved ones are preventing good officers from properly serving their communities.