Kick the Door Down

police

On television, cops will kick down any door without hesitation. But what about in real life? In what types of situations do they decide to do this? What qualifies? I would think that a person dying on the floor of their home would. Evidently, I’m wrong.

Someone receives a call from their loved one who tells them “goodbye”, having just overdosed on drugs. They immediately call 911. They are informed that police are on their way, and that in the meantime they should hurry to their loved one’s house to unlock it.

Unfortunately, they don’t have a car to get there. They walk. Meanwhile, the cops show up. They knock on the door. No answer. Why would there be? The man inside is on the floor, unable to move. Do they kick the door down? No. They wait on the family member to arrive so she can unlock the door. They pace the sidewalk, make conversation, and wait.

Nearly an hour later, the family member arrives to unlock the door. The man is found clinging to life. He’s still alive, barely, but for how long?

An hour the police spent doing nothing, while the man lied helplessly on the floor. An hour that could easily mean the difference between life and death.

If someone’s dying, kick the door down. Doors can be replaced. Lives cannot.

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14 Responses to Kick the Door Down

  1. Sad situations. Through my job I’ve learned that the police do not always have the right to just go busitng through a door. Even in situations like you just described. Even when the police themselves want to.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I don’t understand that. Shouldn’t their first priority be the safety and well-being of others?

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      • Absolutely. But like you said, it’s not the movies. We’ve gone to situations and watched the process they have to go through to get “in to” a house. It’s not always about breaking doors down. Safety and well being first and foremost for everyone involved. I will say I have had nothing but exceptional experiences with law enforcement and I greatly admire what they do. But even they have to follow protocol. (Of course I am talking in generalities here and not speaking to a specific incident like your post.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Glynis Jolly says:

    The thing is this — was the person who called 911 telling the truth, exaggerating the truth, tell an outright lie? Not all people who call 911 are honest, and some who are honest get caught up in the drama and exaggerate what has really happened. This protects our privacy as individual citizens.

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    • mewhoami says:

      That makes sense. The sad part though is that that type of added precaution may cost this guy his life. I understand fully what you’re saying and you’re right, but I think that there’s a fine line there.

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  3. I can tell you that my husband has, in fact, kicked in a door save a man who had hanged himself from his staircase. Luckily his chief showed up at the call and gave him the go ahead. Unfortunately the chief would rarely be with officers out on the street. You might also be surprised at how often they are scrutinized and criticized for doing just that sort of thing. As someone else mentioned it is considered a violation of individual rights or even an excessive use of force.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s wonderful that your husband did that. Could the other police (in this situation) phone in to their chief to get the go ahead? It’s disturbing to me that, even in these situations, their hands are tied. When people need them the most, they can’t do anything. It seems to me that the people have control over the police these days and I don’t think that’s such a good thing… :/

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      • No, I don’t think it is a good thing either. The situation with my husband happened a few years back, before the days of social media firestorms and cop-bashing became the new sport. I would hope, though, that there would at least be some discussion after the fact to determine if they could have/ should have done things differently or if they need to change their department’s procedures.

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        • mewhoami says:

          I would hope so too. Obviously the family member was pretty upset that they waited on her to get there before going inside. I truly feel for your husband and the position that he’s in. It’s got to be so difficult being a police officer these days.

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  4. April says:

    Right after we moved to Georgia, I remember hearing a story on the news. The local police broke through the door of a house suspected of being a place for drug trafficking. They burst in and shot an 89-year-old woman. They had the wrong address. I would think that if a policeman saw a body lying on the floor, that would give them enough evidence to kick in the door.

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    • mewhoami says:

      That’s awful. For that reason, I can completely understand their hesitance in breaking through a door. I don’t know if they could see his body on the floor or not from the window, but given the circumstances and that he was the only one home at the time, I’d like to think that there would have been something more they could have done, rather than wait on a key.

      Liked by 1 person

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