A Colorado police officer, John Smyly resigned after an incident he had with a local resident where he approached this black man who was picking up trash around the residency he lived at. We do not know the motive of the officer on why he approached this black man. Maybe he got a suspicious call or saw something but things escalated. The black man, now known as Zayd Atkinson acted combative with Smyly when he did not comply with Smyly's command to put down his trash picker while he questioned him. Atkinson verbally fought back at the officer saying "I'm a student, I live here...I'm doing my job" and went about his business picking up trash and putting it in a bucket and refused to put down the trash picker. Smyly warned the student he would get tased if he did not comply. Officer Smyly eventually called for backup to which multiple officers showed up and Smyly at one point did draw his gun.
A video has surfaced of the entire incident unfolding:
Officer Smyly did end up resigning before an investigation into the incident concluded. The reports of the investigation did find that Smyly did violate two department policies. An attorney for the City of Boulder said: “The exchange between Officer Smyly and Mr. Atkinson does not represent the professionalism of the Boulder Police Department nor the community Boulder desires to be."
Naturally, Atkinson was not charged with anything because he did live there at that property and Smyly resigned before he could be penalized with anything by the force.
What do you make of this story? I think both characters were acting questionably. On one hand why was the officer questioning this man and what was his motive? He was picking up trash, how is that suspicious? On the other hand, this resident, Atkinson, should not be acting combatively with the officer whether you agreed with his motive or not. It's not a good look for you to be arguing with the officer, let him look into it and see that things check out for you, then you can argue after the fact when a flock of officers are not on your lawn. Let them look like the ones in the wrong in the end and don't give them a reason to point the finger at you. Thoughts?