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Memphis police officer shot responding to weapons call

It wouldn't be a bad idea to start this criminal law blog with a post that examines the relationship between police officers and criminal defense attorneys.

It's a misconception that criminal defense attorneys do not get along with police officers. Because they work to uphold our laws and strive to ensure that everyone stays safe, police officers deserve respect from each and every one of us. Naturally, we expect police officers to observe criminal suspects' rights and to play by the rules, so to speak, but overall, they are entitled to a certain amount of public esteem.

That's also why recent news that a Memphis police officer remains hospitalized after being shot in East Memphis Monday is sad. It shows just how dangerous the life of a police officer can be.

Police said they were responding to a report of an armed person inside a home around 5 p.m. When they confronted they suspect, they ordered the man to drop his weapon, but he refused. He then fired at the officers, according to police, prompting them to return fire. The suspect was hit, but not critically injured. The officer was hit as well and had to be hospitalized. At last report, he was in stable condition.

Both the officer and the suspect were taken to Regional Medical Center, where they are both in stable condition.

In a striking coincidence, the shooting occurred just one day before the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Officer Timothy Warren.

We'd like to reiterate that violence against police officers is not acceptable. These men and women work to enforce our laws and so should be treated with approbation. It is possible to vigorously defend one's own rights and to fight criminal charges with zeal and still have respect for police.

We plan to make this blog a good source for news and general information on criminal law matters that are relevant to Memphis citizens. Be sure to check back often; we would like this to be a resource for and an asset to you.

Source: The Memphis Commercial Appeal, "Memphis police officer shot in Southeast Memphis," Yolanda Jones and Kevin McKenzie, July 2, 2012

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