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Oops!: One Police Officer’s Mistake

When a personal injury accident happens, we often turn to the police for help first. In car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other road accidents, this is always the case. However, if you slip and fall in a store where a spill was left on the floor for too long with no warning signs placed near it or are suddenly attacked by a beloved dog in your home, then you can also contact the police for help. After all, one of the first numbers we learn is 911. However, the police aren’t always as helpful as they should be.

Tamara Whitt was in her home when she came outside to chase after her dog– a medium sized boxer named Lebron, who suddenly heard police cars and police officers from down the road and went running outside. Assistant Chief Barry Rountree was on his way to assist another police officer, saw this, and thought she was being attacked by a vicious, aggressive dog. Rountree, no less, answered a call for help. He attempted to shoot the dog, preventing any serious personal injury such as a dog bite from occurring to someone who was actually the dog’s owner and in no danger at all.

However, he missed. His bullet ricocheted and hit Whitt in the thigh, where it lodged in so deep as to become dangerous to remove according to the doctors who attended to her later.

What most shocked, Whitt, however, is not being shot. Its the fact that Rountree didn’t help her at all. Instead, he backed away and began to make a phone call before coming over to see if she was okay. Rountree was, and still might be, on his way to becoming Chief of Police.

The State Bureau Investigation is investigating this incident. However, police are sometimes protected from a lawsuit if they were only acting in the normal course of their duties. It will be interesting to see how this particular case unfolds.

Should the Rountree be held liable for her injuries? If not, who should? She can’t pay for those expensive medical bills and lost wages herself.