If I enter that situation there is a high probability things could go BAD. If I'm injured or permanently disabled I don't have a police union to get benifits or disability to provide for my family. Would all the officers at his station take from thier pension to provide for my family for the next 20 years? Unless myself or my family are in grave danger I'm calling 911. I'll be the coward that gets to see his kids graduate high school, pay for thier college, and start of family of thier own. My duty as a father comes FIRST even if that makes me a coward in another's view.
That cop may have a wife and kids also. Just saying.
I've done the same for perfect strangers...almost certainly I'd do it for LEO. Like the OP said, it was a spur of the moment reaction. I'm not going to sit around and contemplate the good and evil of the world (outside of a quick assessment of the situation I'm getting myself into). I'm just going to react.
I was assisted by several citizens during my years as a patrol officer. Some in a passive way and some aggressive. I was always appreciative of that help. Since I have no words for those who stated they would not help I can only say thank you to those who would or did.
While my normal stance is not to get involved in something that isn't my business and I don't know the whole story on, there are a few exceptions. A LEO in a struggle is one of them.
First response in a situation like that should be to call 911 so proper backup arrives. I still say you or your family would regreat the decision to intervene if you got a spinal cord injury and were a quadrapalegic for life. Anything can happen at any time but each decision me make has possible outcomes that we must live with.
LEOs are somebody's best friend, too. This one was mine. Wish somebody woulda:
Hearing final pleas of slain deputy tears at family, jurors as trial opens - seattlepi.com
I would definitely go to help out. You may laugh but 122 pounds running on pure adrenaline could at least be a distraction long enough to buy the officer a few seconds and pull out his gun.
In the Zimmerman case, racism came into question, which made it relevant. Also, sometimes it is necessary if police wanted people to be able to identify the perpetrator. If they were still at large and people needed to keep an eye out for them. You need the best description possible.
I used to do the same thing when I would tell people stories, until a black friend called me out on it (It was when I was complaining about a time I worked at Panera: "This black family came in one minute before closing time, took 15 minutes to order, 45 minutes to eat, and then left all their trash everywhere"). I reacted the same knee-jerk way, at first. "I would mention their race no matter what it was!" I thought I was doing it just to better describe my story so people could picture what was happening. But I realized that I never did it with my own race, and that I only did it when I was mad about something someone did. Or if I was describing what was basically a stereotype for that race. I realized that on a subconscious level, it stemmed from a little bit of deep seated racism I didn't even realize I harbored. It was a very bad habit that I decided I needed to break. It sounds like you may be doing the same thing, so I would advise you make a conscious effort to change that habit, too.
I always use descriptive terms, including race, when trying to paint a picture for someone. White, black, short, fat, bald, etc. There's a certain efficiency to language when you just say what you mean and don't feel compelled, for instance, to evaluate the many reasons beyond someones control they might have a weight issue before you can use the term "fat".
... and I very much appreciate it when others show me the same courtesy. I'm smart enough to know that if he says he once saw a "balding, white guy" - he's not racist, sexist, talking about me specifically, or has anything against people with no hair - and I don't have to waste twice as much time asking questions until I get enough of a description to form a mental picture.
MG27, you did the right thing. Thank you most kindly.
One of the big problems with the United States these days is a failure of the public to be offended by wrong behavior and taking suitable action. Yeah, there's lots of things can go wrong in a situation like this. One might also notice the problems that arise when the public fails to act in favor of public peace and proper conduct.
I am also delighted to see how many people are supportive. But then, with a group like this of independent minded people I am not surprised, either.
Doing the right thing is the right thing.
Now that I'm older I don't worry so much about claims against me, etc. I just keep in mind that every one of our LEOs have or had a mom and dad. My son's life ambition was to be a cop and selected the most challenging academy in the state to attend at his own cost and with his wife's and 3 kids blessing, quit his job and lodged with others like him from out of town. He did well until he injured his back and could not continue with the physical side of it. He was crushed, I felt bad for him but quite relieved for myself. Now every time I see one I think that could have been my son. So yes I'd help... I've long ago made that decision and won't hesitate.
BTW: I regularly help people I don't know load awkward stuff they just bought into their vehicle (or cart) at the store. I guess that started when I first saw my son do it when we're at the store.