Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Real cops, in the real world, would never act like this! Would they?

I was really looking forward to the two-hour premiere of the new Alcatraz series, but then when I watched it Monday night I got turned off by something one of the main characters did --- but didn't do.

For those of you who didn't watch it, or don't even know what I'm talking about, this new series about Alcatraz takes place in the present, but there are also lots of flashbacks too. You see, back in March of 1963 Alcatraz, for a variety of reasons, was closed down and the prisoners housed there were moved to other correctional facilities --- or were they?

According to the storyline of this new series several hundred prisoners, along with dozens of guards too, just vanished. Now, these brutally vicious criminals were coming back from where ever they had been for the past 50 years. They hadn't aged and their mission was unclear. I found that this Alcatraz series reminded me a lot of the popular "Lost" series from a few years ago. There were lots of questions, and at least initially, very few answers.

One of the first Alcatraz alumni to suddenly reappear here in the present was Prisoner #2024, better known as Jack Sylvane. The first thing Jack did was to murder the ex-deputy warden of Alcatraz, a bad guy himself, with the last name of Tiller. He tormented Jack while he was at Alcatraz and it's easy to understand why Jack wanted him dead. Then, Jack heads out to murder another individual, although we don't know why.

Before Jack can carry out this second murder however, he is stopped by two officers from San Franciso P.D. Jack promptly shoots both officers, killing one and critically wounding the other. Then, he goes and kills the second individual who had originally been his intended target.

Now we come to Detective Rebecca Madsen, of San Franciso P.D. She is investigating the original murder of ex-Deputy Warden Tiller and she is just seconds behind Jack as he shoots the two officers, and then the other intended victim too.

Det. Madsen eventually tracks Jack Sylvane down and she finds him standing at the grave of his ex-wife. Jack has an automatic pistol in his right hand and initially he doesn't notice the arrival and approach of Det. Madsen.
"Now give me your gun and I won't blow your brains out," Det. Madsen tells Jack. Okay, so far, so good.

Jack looks at the gun in his right hand and he seems to shake his head from side to side as if to say "No." Det. Madsen doesn't give up.
"Give me the gun Jack," she begins again. "You don't want to hurt anyone else."
As this confrontational encounter takes place sirens can be heard in the background. More San Francisco P.D. officers are coming.

Det. Madsen and Jack talk some more and he admits to killing the two civilians. He even states, "I killed Tiller out of hate." But, he never mentions the two San Franciso cops he gunned down AND Det. Madsen, who is with San Fransciso P.D. herself, never even mentions them too. But, she does ask Jack about his second victim and why did he kill him.

"Where have you been? What happened to you Jack," Det. Madsen asks, as other heavily armed officers now move into position.
"Shoot me," Jack says to Det. Madsen. His words sound sad and it's almost as if he's begging her to do this.
"No" she says, as she shakes her head from side to side.

So far, I don't really have a major problem with the actions of Det. Madsen, although I still have to wonder a little about why she didn't ask Jack about why he shot the two San Franciso P.D. officers. If Jack were to live through this experience, and stand trial for the murder on that one officer, a verbal admission by him might have been nice to get. But, that's not really a major point. What happens next, however, is!

Jack the cop killer suddenly raises his right hand up and he points his automatic at Det. Madsen's head. I'm not sure, but it also sounded as if he cocked the gun too, as he was doing this. It also sounded as if Jack yelled, "Do it!" Det. Madsen's response?
"Jack, put down the gun! "Get on your knees!" she yelled.

Although Det. Madsen failed miserably to defend herself, one of the other San Franciso officers shoots him. There's only one shot. Det. Madsen's response? She throws up her hands into the air, like she's giving up and she yells "Hey, ????, stop!" She's yelling this at her fellow officers, the ones that may have just saved her life.

I found this scene, where cop killer Jack threatens to shoot Det. Madsen, and she doesn't shoot him, to be incredibly unrealistic and even absurd. Yes, this appeared to be a classic example of the "Suicide by Cop" mentality some malcontents may have, and many people may argue that Det. Madsen was probably not in any real danger --- that bad guy Jack wouldn't have really shot her.

Also, many others may argue that she didn't want to shoot him because they needed him alive, so that they could learn where he had been for the past 50 years, and also what was the secret to his still youthful appearance --- had he found the Fountain of Youth?

All of this is hogwash, though. When an individual, any individual, points a loaded pistol at a police officer, there is every expectation that that individual will be shot, and probably killed. Jack? The other officers around Jack and Det. Madsen fired a grand total of one (1) shot and they apparently wounded poor old jack in a non-lethal location. Just one bullet? I find that also absurd too.

As they led Jack away, he turned to Det. Madsen and said, "You should have killed me!"

I could agree more!

Gary P. Jones, Captain [retired]
Fort Lauderdale Police Department

Author of book: Badge 149 - "Shots Fired!"

Final Note: If you saw this series premiere, or even if you didn't, I would very much like to hear any comments you might have about this post. Thank you!

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