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Fiance Blames Police For Saving Her Life.

Far too often we criticize the police for doing bone headed things and or things that are against the law.

Like any profession, there are people in law enforcement that are average in their job, lousy in their job, and great in their job. Unfortunately, far too many people try to lump all police in the “they’re great” or “they are horrible” category.

The truth lies in-between.

Which brings us to the case out of Baltimore where 49 year old Timothy Fleming was shot and killed by police after threatening his fiance Shannon Burnham with a knife and trying to kill her. (We apologize for doing so many Baltimore stories lately.)

She hasn’t slept. The terrifying events from Sunday still burned in her mind. Baltimore police shot and killed her fiancé who was holding her at knife point.

“I was scared but we were trying to talk him out of it, talk him down,” said Burnham.

She said it all started early Sunday morning in their East Baltimore home. Her fiancé, 49-year-old Timothy Fleming was not acting like himself. He was hallucinating, scared someone was in their home trying to kill him.

“He grabbed me by my hair. He pushed me threw me down on the ground and had a knife to me,” said Burnham.

She begged him to put the knife down and a family member called police. When officers arrived, they found Fleming with a large knife standing over Burnham.

While trying to talk to Fleming and get him to back away or put the knife down, Fleming raised the head of Burnham and started to bring the knife down to her throat.

Two officers fired multiple times, killing Fleming and most likely saving the life of Burnham.

Burnham now wants “justice” for her fiance and the father of her two kids.

“They stood there and they killed him. And it’s not fair,” said Shannon Burnham.

[….]

Burnham describes him as a family man. They had two kids together who were home at the time. She thinks the situation should have been handled much differently.

“They sat there and repeatedly shot at him and they shouldn’t have done that. I can see one shot in the leg or tased him. They didn’t even had the taser,” said Burnham.

Sunday, after reviewing body camera footage, the mayor and police commissioner said the officers followed their training and acted to save her life.

“They did exactly what we want them to do to try to preserve life at all costs but we also know that we cannot allow people to harm people, especially when they are standing right there,” said Mayor Brandon Scott.

But Burnham and Fleming’s family are calling for justice.

“It’s not right what they did to my fiancé and my boys… now they have to live with no father,” said Burnham.

Somehow, instead of thanking the officers for saving her life (because the actions of Fleming would have resulted in her being killed,) Burnham is saying the police were wrong.

How dare the police save her life. /sarc.

The police released the body cam footage which shows that the police were not yelling and were trying to talk to Fleming and get him to simply walk away.

WARNING: This video is graphic.

A Baltimore woman held at knifepoint on Sunday said her fiance was not himself.

Shannon Burnham said her finance quickly got violent with her.

“He had a knife on him. He grabbed me by my hair. He pushed me down to the ground and had a knife telling me he was gonna cut me,” said Burnham.

Officers were initially dispatched after a child called 911 to report that his father was trying to stab his mother with a knife.

The department showed portions of footage from the cameras of three different officers.

Officer Gaston Melendez was first on scene with a police trainee.

The footage picks up outside a row home where Melendez can be heard meeting and speaking with the child caller.

He tells Melendez that “he did this yesterday. He has a knife. Yesterday he cut her hand. He has a knife on her knee now.”

Melendez then knocks on the door of the home and announces himself as police.

Yelling is heard from upstairs.

“Help me please!”

“Put the knife down! Put it down,” said family members who were upstairs with the victim and the suspect.

Melendez and the trainee make their way up a flight of stairs into a narrow hallway.

Just feet away, 49-year-old Timothy Fleming is seen armed with a knife standing atop his fiancé Shannon Burnham.

A relative of the woman appears to be trying to talk Fleming down, when officers ask him to back away.

Not long after, a second officer, Jason Zimmerman, arrives on scene.

Over the next two minutes and 20 seconds, the officers try negotiating with Fleming.

“Timothy, please just talk to us. We don’t wanna hurt you, we don’t wanna hurt anybody. That’s not what we are here for. We’re here to help, just speak to us,” Melendez said.

Zimmerman also tries pleading with Fleming asking, “what can we help you change, what can we help you fix?”

Both officers give Fleming some options to help bring the chaotic situation to a safe ending.

“You either let her move and you hold on to the knife or you can put the knife on the ground,” the officers say.

Despite their efforts, Fleming instead raises the knife, grabs Burnham’s hair and begins motioning as if he were about to stab her.

That’s when Melendez and Zimmerman simultaneously fire eight shots, fatally striking Fleming.

One of the officers then drags the woman to safety and asks if she had been stabbed. She was not injured.

The trainee is seen applying life saving measures to Fleming until medics could arrive.

Burnham says that the officers should have used tazers or shot Fleming in the leg – neither of which would have definitely prevented Fleming from fatally cutting or stabbing Burnham.

This is one of those incidents where the police did what most people want them to do – they protected the innocent.

Now Burnham’s and Fleming’s family “call for justice” will get picked up by some as just another case of police being out of control or something like that.

We are cynical of cases like this and believe that their “justice” has dollar signs associated with it.

The two officers who fired the shots will have to live with what they did. Make no mistake, shooting and killing someone – even in defense of others – is not an easy thing to do. There are always mental and emotional repercussions.

Yet to blame the officers for saving the life of Burnham is wrong.

Just plain wrong.

Baltimore has had a horrible record of police actions, but this isn’t one of them.

We are sorry for the death of Fleming as we hate seeing anyone killed. Yet it wasn’t the actions of the officers that resulted in the death of Fleming. It was Fleming’s actions. It was Fleming who was looking to kill Burnham.

It was the police who saved her.

They should be applauded – not condemned.

That applause would be true justice.



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