“Moving to quell criticism of the fatal shooting of a black man by a Louisville Metro Policeofficer a day earlier, Police Chief Steve Conrad on Sunday released video of the incident and identified the officer involved,” usatoday.com reports. “Conrad said Officer Nathan Blanford acted in self-defense when he shot Deng Manyoun, whom the chief said had a ‘dangerous instrument.'” [Click on the link to see the full, unedited version of the video.] It seems clear enough that Officer Blanford acted in self-defense. Equally clear: race hustlers won’t gain traction on this one, despite their best/worst efforts. But it won’t be for lack of trying, as thedailybeast.com reports . . .

“Either you comply or you die,” activist Tara Pruitt said at a meeting covered by the Courier-Journal. “De-escalation tactics are not used when it comes to people of color.”

Another advocate, Chanelle Helm, said Blanford’s response might have been warranted if Manyoun was “a criminal with a gun.”

“You’re telling me you can’t defeat a person with a flagpole who seems to be intoxicated?” Helm said. “An officer is supposed to be trained to protect people. He lost all type of control.”

Not all type. And here’s why video is critical to proper police accountability.

“I was at the light and the cop was telling the guy to do something and the man had took a couple steps back,” the witness told WLKY. “The cop pulled out his weapon and shot to kill him.”

Videos can be misleading; the Texas pool party video is exhibit A. But there’s no question that the now-pervasive technology has created a sea change in policing, one that favors truth over political agendas.

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59 Responses to Kentucky Cop Shoots Flagpole-Wielding Attacker

    • bbbbbbut he could of used a taser :/ Looks like a good shoot to me. Like Vhyrus comments below, I would have shot when he moved towards me with the flag pole.

    • If more people were allowed to own guns, they wouldn’t need cops to commit suicide. If you act like a rabid dog, expect the same treatment.
      I think it is about time Obama spoke to his people on the subject of violence against police officers. I guess black lives do matter. The more sacrifices like this to black lives, the closer we get to the Democrat’s dream of a police state.

  1. Good shoot. He showed more restraint than I would have. I would have fired right about the time he entered the frame with that flag.

    • Yeah this looks pretty cut and dry to me. That flagpole actually became a much nastier weapon after it broke too.

      • Obviously a justifiable shoot.
        FYI, the staff did not break; it came apart—a two part slip together staff, the kind that you find in front of many shops, usually made of steel. Long or short, it became a weapon and that is enough.

    • Same here, if not sooner.
      A guy rushing you with a metal pole is a lethal threat, and therefore a justification for lethal self defense. Period.

  2. I am not a cop or lawyer, but the officer shows restraint and even backs up to create more distance so the man can rethink his actions. A flag pole can be a deadly weapon. I say good shoot based on the video.

  3. I got no problem if somebody attacks a non-uniformed citizen with a flag pole and gets shot for their trouble. Not gonna cry over the officer defending himself either.
    Video evidence is so much more reliable than witness testimony. Its beyond me why cops aren’t out buying their own GoPros for the own protection.

    • Some eyewitnesses are the biggest dumba$$es you’ll ever meet. Patrolling a crappy area? You’re eyewitnesses will be even crappier. John Q. Can’t Get A Job will be more than happy to share an opinion with anyone who sticks a camera in his face.

      I use a few simple tests to determine the value of an eyewitness. One is to simply have them visually estimate 50 / 100 / 300 feet. It’s simply amazing how some people have almost no concept of space / time / distance. That’s one of many reasons why people crash so much.

      As you might imagine, seasoned shooters are pretty darn good at visually estimating distance and time.

  4. If you run at someone with a gun drawn while trying to strike them with an object, they are probably going to shoot you. Seems to be a pretty simple thing that people are somehow continually only learning in their last moments of existence.

    Gotta love all the “eyewitness” reports, its amazing how many people you can find to lie their asses off for someone they have never met. Then again maybe it is “perception vs reality.”

    “You’re telling me you can’t defeat a person with a flagpole who seems to be intoxicated?”
    Sure seems like he is defeated to me, I suppose they would rather the dude was ran through with the flagpole. Good thing the construction seems to be on the flimsier side 🙂

    “An officer is supposed to be trained to protect people.”

    It amazes me how people still think this. Not to mention the idea that she probably means protecting people while they try to hurt you.

  5. This seems about as non-controversial as an officer involved shooting can get, yet the news was able to find someone to try and manufacture controversy. The quest for ratings continues.

  6. If you have a blunt instrument in your hands and you threaten me with it I’m going to get a little cross and act out. So yeah, this looks like a good shoot.

  7. Video makes it abundantly clear the officer didn’t want to shoot until the last second. It’s not like he just drove up and shot the guy.

      • I’ll withhold a judgement based on a two minute video. When I was twelve I was attacked by a kid with a 2×4. I was able to grab a broomstick handle and when that lumber came down on me I hooked it with my left arm. I proceeded to swing that broomstick until all I had was six inches sticking out of my hand. I didn’t have badge, a 9mm, mace, nobody had to die and I didn’t get hurt. Nobody was arrested and the other kids father told him to take his beating that he deserved like a man. All I ‘m going to say is “When all you have is hammer, everything starts to look like a nail”.

  8. People seem to think that every cop is a real life Walker – Texas Ranger. There are two difference between Chuck Norris and real cops. First, he only played a character on TV. Second, Norris really can fight.

    About forty years ago, in my city, a mental case with a stick was harassing women on the street because he believed their clothing to be immodest. When two cops told him to stop, he knocked both of them down with his stick. At that point, one of the cops shot him dead. Unless a stick is so light that you can hit someone over the head without causing injury, the stick is a deadly weapon. An attack with it satisfies the requirements for defense using deadly force.

    • Kendahl,

      I agree with your sentiment. And because an aluminum flag pole is no different than a wiffleball bat, I am going to be the lone voice of dissent and say that the actions of the person-of-interest did not rise to the reasonable standard for use of deadly force … unless you believe it is reasonable to use deadly force on a person wielding a wiffleball bat.

      In my opinion a wooden flag pole would be much more capable of inflicting great bodily harm than an aluminum flag pole. Why? Every aluminum flag pole that I have ever touched/owned was hollow, extremely light, and fragile — as evidenced in the video when the flagpole broke.

      Having said all that, the broken flag pole (assuming a jagged edge) was probably much closer to a deadly weapon. However, the officer was already amped up to shoot before the pole broke. The most interesting question is whether or not the officer had any idea how non-lethal aluminum flagpoles really are.

      • What if the aluminum flag pole had a wood core? It is so easy to Monday morning quarterback. The only assumption an armed open carrier should make when under attack like this is, this maniac wants to hurt me.

      • Yep. In the calm, intellectual, coffee in one hand, replay ability environment, when 20/20 hind sight is king, you still don’t have a valid point.

        Because in the few seconds of the guy storming out of sight of the camera, the cop draws his gun as as the guy storms back into view swinging what could be a solid wooden dowel or a galvanized steel plumbing pipe that someone used to hang a flag that could break an arm or fracture a skull with one blow.

        All that was certain was one guy was swinging some type of pole to injure/kill another. With seconds to act, the other used justified lethal force in self-defense.

      • An aluminum flag pole can certainly gouge out an eye. “Serious physical injury” is considered justification for shooting in self defense.

      • I bet an out of shape cop could be killed pretty fast with the jagged end of an aluminum flagpole. I’ve got some hand to hand training, and I probably would have shot this drunken idiot as well.

      • “Pardon me, my good man. Would you kindly cease in your hostilities long enough for me to examine your weapon that I may ascertain its chemical makeup and determine if it is, in fact, potentially lethal? There’s a good chap.”

        Well, when you put it that way, of COURSE that’s the reasonable approach that the cop should have taken!

  9. He was just trying to show the officer what it felt like to be a black man and an immigrant in the Jim Crow south! *sarc

  10. “You’ve heard people say, ‘Man, I wouldn’t do that shit if I was you’… well, here’s some of that shit!”

    And, yes, when someone is pointing a gun at you it’s time to recognize that you are indeed in a comply or die situation.

  11. I don’t care if he was a cop or just some guy on the street, I also don’t care what color, creed, sex or religion Mr. Flagpole was either. It seems like justified self defense to me.

  12. When did police stop carrying/using nightsticks? When the silly damn tasers appeared or when copchicks arrived?

    As noted above, a stick is a very useful (less than lethal) weapon. Even more so when combined with even a minimal amount of training.

    I’ll guess the lawyer industry decided they liked the idea of a nice tidy clean electric shock to an asswhupping with a 3ft length of hickory.

    • 7 feet of flagpole trumps 3 feet of hickory.
      Cops still carry “nightsticks”/batons, et. al. Most prevalent are expandable batons. Tasers allow for engagement at longer distances than impact weapons. But they’re not a magic “bullet” either.
      Cop here did good.

    • When someone is coming at you with a device that can cause harm or kill you, as in this instance, you don’t always have time to think about which device on your belt might be best to use. And I doubt a baton would have done much good for defense. Swordplay with a baton against a drunk guy with a flagpole ? Could have ended badly for the Cop. Tasers are not always effective and when the shit hit the fan you want something to quickly stop the attacker. If the taser does not work or is not placed correctly the Cop could be dead. A gun is a quick, decisive, effective tool to stop an attack like this. That is why it is used. Easy to say “What if” now but not so easy if you were the one being attacked. Looks like a good shoot to me. Too bad for the guy with the pole but he was the idiot who decided to attack the Cop so the ending was inevitable. As for the witness, well he looked and acted like he was drunk also and again, easy to say what the Cop should have done but he was not the one defending himself so his comments are pretty much bullshit.

    • Most cops still carry some sort of baton, though “nightsticks” went out of favor for a number of reasons (including the imagery of Rodney King). But police use batons non-lethally, targeting arms and legs for the most part. If you try to use a 3 foot baton non-lethally against someone who has a much longer weapon and is not concerned about whether they will cause permanent injury… well, you’re in the running for a Darwin award.

  13. I wonder how long it will take for some governing body to mandate its officers to bring stun guns to bear first in self defense, no matter the circumstance, before drawing their firearm. It seems like the next logical step in a rash of illogical steps.

    Anyone else think that Anna Faris has a sister working for WLKY 11 News in Louisville?

    • I wonder how long before whoever called the cop to begin with learns to deal with this clown in the first place. If you send in the Marines to do your dirty work, don’t get mad when they finish the job.
      No offense to the Marines. It’s just an analogy.

      • Exactly! Why didn’t the “witness” take care of the drunk guy? After all, he seems to be the expert on stopping someone like that.

  14. I saw the video yesterday. Can’t tell who the attacker is.
    At the time of the shoot, the cop was trying not to shoot.

    But, why did he deploy his sidearm in the first place?
    If, and only if, he pulled a gun on the guy for walking away from him and threatened to murder him, then the guy had every right (but not the ability) to beat him to death with the flag.

    If, on the other hand, the cop pulled his gun because the other guy grabbed the flag, I feel sorry for the cop who was forced to shoot him. (but if he his hands weren’t full of Glock he probably could have handled the attack from a guy who appeared to be staggering drunk without any remarkable incident)

    • “…Can’t tell who the attacker is….”
      “…But, why did he deploy his sidearm in the first place?…”

      Re-watch the video. At about 44 seconds, the officer stops ABRUPTLY, takes a few steps back and THEN draws his weapon. Pretty clear to me that the attacker was retrieving the flag pole before that point.

    • FedUp: Let’s try an experiment. Put you in place of the cop and see what you can do to defend yourself from someone with a pole like that. You can have a pistol on your belt that could stop the attack right away but you are not allowed to use it. You have a split second to decide if you are able to stop the guy with the pole from harming your or knocking you out and taking your gun. I doubt that any of us, in the same situation, would have done anything different than that Cop did. Unless the defender was Bruce Lee in which case the guy with the pole would have been disarmed easily. I call it a good shoot based on the video.

      • Perhaps, since I wouldn’t have pulled my gun on him, he wouldn’t have felt the need to fight me to the death with a flag.

        Perhaps…
        It all hinges on who was the attacker here, something none of us know because the seemingly inebriated fellow was not in frame when the LEO drew his weapon. There’s enough of a time lag before the guy comes charging back into the picture that it seems reasonable to believe the actual charge started well after the draw, but it’s entirely possible that he picked up his makeshift weapon before the cop drew, thus prompting the cop to draw.

        Once the altercation began in earnest, the cop either was extremely reluctant to shoot, or was too shocked to shoot. Anybody who thinks I’m saying that cop was trigger happy is very wrong.

        To ThomasR: stopping the attack and putting the subject on the ground should have been a simple exercise for a trained cop, at least one who didn’t already have his hands full of a gun he needed to retain control of. Restraining him may have been a more difficult problem, as you say.

        If, at the time he pulled the gun, he’d moved to the left side of the cruiser, he would have had more options. Instead he backpedaled when charged at, which resulted in him getting pinned between the car and his opponent.

    • Sorry fedup. But you are speaking from a place of ignorance. I work in EMS. We deal with “staggering drunk” people all the time. . They are the ones that are often the most aggressive, antagonistic, and violent
      people that we encounter on any particular day.

      There have been times when we’ve needed four or five people to control one of the “staggering drunk” violent ones enough that we can put them in restraints on the gurney before transporting them to the hospital.

  15. The video sure “gives the lie in the throat” to the obviously biased witness. I would like to have that guy attempt to explain the difference between his account and the video.

    • And if his eye witness account was part of the investigation (as apposed to just a news interview), he/she needs to be brought up on charges of providing false testimony.

    • I would like to see the witness take care of his partner if he thinks the shooting was unjustified. He knew the man was just a local drunk. He appeared to be quite larger than the drunk. Why didn’t he jump in between him and the cop before the cop drew his gun?
      This goes out to all fellow non LEOs. If you can’t handle the way cops do their jobs then stop calling the police and handle it yourselves! Otherwise, STFU! There are plenty of times when people subdue an unruly person. The same people that complain about cops use of force say “I aint gettin involved because I might get killed or sued.” I can’t stand hypocrisy.

  16. My uncle had a poster hanging up in his bar at home. It had a drawing of a man obviously about to drill a large hole in an active hornets’ nest. The caption read, “Think, before you louse things up!” I have never forgotten that poster. It made an impression on me.
    Mr. Flagpole did what the guy in the poster did. That about sums it up.

  17. While legally probably going to go done as a justifiable shoot, the fact is while this officer might not have had the training to handle this in another way, doesn’t mean that this couldn’t have easily been solved without shooting the guy. Police training has evolved to the point where the number one task of a cop is coming home alive. Which is all great and all, but we wouldn’t accept that from a firefighter, why do we accept that from the police. And the training has evolved from a individual who is capable of deescalating a situation, to a check in the box training that is based off worse case scenarios. If suspect does this, you do this type of training which results in cops being able to legally justified in shooting scenarios when they could easily be handled otherwise with a acceptable level of risk involved.

  18. Well, the cop could have at least started out by talking to the guy, rather than going in guns blazing!

    Wait…that’s what he did.

    Well, he could have just SHOWN his gun, which would have scared the guy off, rather than shoot him!

    …huh…tried that, too…

    Well, he could have tried backing away, rather than escalating the issue by charging directly at the…

    oh…right…

    Yeah, those trying to stir up trouble should probably pass this incident by and choose a different video to get worked up about.

  19. Hi, my name is John and I have been drunk more than a few times in my life. I mean knee-wobblin’, snot-slingin’ drunk! (All say: “Hello John!”) But I have never, ever, EVER, been so drunk as to be even slightly tempted to attack a police officer, especially one with a gun pointed at me. That shows a special kind of stupid that goes beyond the booze.

    As the saying goes, the drunk played a bad game and he won a bad prize.

  20. You guys are such wimps. Always looking for any reason to kill someone. Next thing you know it will be “he came at me with a lethal submarine sandwich so I killed him”. The dude in the video couldn’t have weighed more than 130 lbs. There were 10 different ways this could have been handled if the cop had a pair on him.

    Bullies and those that defend them always have been pussies.

  21. In other news, Neptune Township Police Sgt. Phillip Seidle allegedly shoots his wife in front of his daughter and is taken into custody alive. I’m sure race and station in life had nothing to do with it.

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