WATCH: Cops Show What Real Bravery Is As They Disarm Suicidal Man to Save His Life

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Top Tier Gear USA


Detective Howard Brickner and Corporal Lynn Bays are being hailed as heroes today following the release of body camera footage showing the two career police officers choosing to save a mentally ill man instead of killing him.

The incident happened in January after officers made contact with Marcus Lavender, a man with an admitted death wish. According to a Youtube video and accompanying description uploaded by Police Activity:

“Brickner told that he and Bays went to Lavender’s residence for a well-being check call. After arriving, they were warned by dispatch that Lavender had made threatening remarks about trying to shoot any officers that arrived on scene.”

They said they noticed someone had been drinking alcohol as they found an open bottle on the seat of a truck at the residence. Bays walked around behind the house, while Brickner knocked on the front door. Brickner described what happened next:

“The front door was opening with the muzzle of a weapon behind it. I grabbed a hold of the muzzle pushing it away and wrapped around the guy and we started to wrestle with the gun. It went off. I had yelled for my partner and he’d come running.”

Brickner said his first instinct was to get, “the muzzle of that weapon planted in the ground where it wasn’t going to be able to do anything.”

Bays ran to the front of the home to assist Brickner. Even though Bays drew his weapon and ordered Lavender to drop his gun, there was no way for him to comply because Brickner and Lavender were struggling for control of the rifle.

Bays’ body camera captured the entire incident. A shot can be heard and Bays went running in the direction of the percussion. There, he encountered Brickner and Lavender struggling for control of what appears to be an AK-47. The gun, which had already gone off at least once, was pointed in Bays’ direction the entire time. He ordered Lavender, “Put it down Marcus! Put it down!”

Lavender can be heard begging the officers to, “shoot me please,” an action Bays would have been legally justified in doing. It is unclear if Bays was more concerned about hitting his partner than he was about ending the life of the suspect, but at any rate, he chose not to fire his weapon and place himself directly into the line of fire.

“Please shoot me. I wanna die. Please kill me,” Lavender pleads, all the while the officers maintained their composure and did not end the man’s life. They did, however, deploy their taser, an action which immobilized the suspect long enough to place him in handcuffs and secure the firearm.

In an era where it seems police officers often shoot first and ask questions later, it is refreshing to see a brave officer who thought less of his own safety and more it appears on doing the right thing to save not only his partner but the suicidal man.

Lavender has since been sentenced for crimes related to endangering the lives of the police officers. He received 4 years in the Department of Corrections for Unlawful Use of a Weapon and 7 years for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

We applaud Corporal Lynn Bays and Detective Howard Brickner for their bravery in service to their community. We hope your acts of bravery serve as an example and model of how situations can be handled peacefully without the unnecessary taking of human life. There is no doubt you both were in fear for your lives and would have been justified in ending the threat. But you went above and beyond your call of duty and for that we salute you both.

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  • Clementine

    It is truly sad to see someone suffering such mental anguish… those cops deserve the respect I hope they receive…

    • Stop giving them pharmaceuticals that produce suicidal and homicidal ideation and there will be far less suicide and homicide.

    • The Tuna Fairy

      Clementine: read my comment below.
      I agree, the cops DO need respect, it’s good to read this instead of “so we shot him” but was this a useful outcome for this man?

      • g.johnon

        only respectable cops deserve respect.

  • I don’t agree with saving suicidal people, as long as you don’t take anyone with you. Go ahead and do it. Are these “heros” going to be involved in the man’s life every step of the way and keep him stable till his natural death ? No. So don’t get involved unless you are making a serious commitment. You didn’t save a life, you just postponed the suicide.

  • It is nice to see some police officers have the gift. Life is important.

  • The Tuna Fairy

    I don’t know.

    I’m glad they didn’t shoot him, for a lot of reasons. So they saved his life and put him in jail for years? I doubt anyone there is going to help him find his sanity, find a reason to live, or do anything useful to make his life after jail something pleasant. He is now has a criminal record (if he didn’t already) and will have even less chance of getting a job, and finding his footing in society again.

    The idea “he needed to not be shot” is good. But the end result… Was “throw him in jail” the best choice there?

    • It is the only option they are provided.

      • The Tuna Fairy

        And that’s the problem, in my eyes. Can this country not think up a few more options?

        • Which ones does or did it need beyond obeying the Constitution in its original intent? When individuals lose the ability to think critically, what chance will a country occupied by them stand?

  • Cracker122049

    Wow , that took a set of balls for sure and also it says a lot about the 2 cops that did it. The way cops are today that guy was very lucky cause most would have granted his request and shot him dead on the spot!

  • If he isn’t homicidal, there is no unlawful act in progress. If committing suicide is illegal, why do our troops keep going off to die?

    • g.johnon

      so corporations can have their way with us all.

  • VOV

    Oh please, if that black s.o.b. was shot the negros would riot. So, id say because this loony tune (probably on drugs) was taken down without being shot was more like a PR move.

  • tscull

    “In an era where it seems police officers often shoot first and ask questions later…”-
    Complete left-wing propaganda!

    • g.johnon

      mr. scull, once again exhibiting complete imperviosity to the world in which you exist.

      • tscull


    • Clementine

      With how many police officers there are, and how many calls they respond to each day… could you imagine if that left-wing propaganda fear mongering comment was true? HA! There wouldn’t be enough morgues to cover the body count!

  • g.johnon

    if you wanted to die so bad, why didn’t you just eat your gun asshole.
    nice to see cops show some restraint for a change. they probably just screwed themselves out of future promotions though.