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02-13-2002, 23:56 #1Sergeant
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- Marion County Florida
Detroit Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty
To end, officer embraced duty
Wednesday, February 13, 2002
BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Detroit Police Officer Michael Scanlon could have ignored the impending traffic stop as he finished up his 8-hour shift Tuesday night. Fifteen minutes later and he would have been on the way home to his wife and two young children.
But it wasn't Scanlon's nature to cruise through the last part of a shift, his colleagues said. So, at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, police speculate that he tried to pull over a motorist for speeding or a possible illegal U-turn on 6 Mile.
His dedication to duty cost him his life. By 11 p.m., Scanlon, 35, had been stabbed to death and shot with his own gun. And the man police say he tried to pull over, who also was shot, had used Scanlon's squad car to drive himself to a hospital.
Scanlon, a seven-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, was the youngest of eight children. His brothers and sisters said Wednesday that his death confirmed their worst fears about his profession.
"As a whole, the family knows Mike was doing what he loved to do," said his older sister Terri Parks, 46. "He just always wanted to make things better. But I'm not going to lie and say we didn't worry about this. Every time a story came on the news about a dead police officer, we held our breath."
Scanlon is the 15th Detroit police officer to die in line of duty since 1990.
Parks said she still remembers the day her baby brother was born.
"I'm just so proud of him and the man he became," she said. "We're all going to miss him, but the ones I worry most about are his wife and children."
Scanlon and his wife of four years, Leah, had two children: David, 2, and Michaela, 3 months.
One of Scanlon's brothers, Kevin, said policing was "in his blood."
"He just believed in it and wanted to do what was right," he said. "But besides that, he was a husband and a father, and that came first for him."
According to police, Scanlon died after he pulled over 22-year-old Brian Bourne for an unknown violation.
Bourne, driving a Trans Am, crossed into Redford Township and stopped in a residential driveway on 6 Mile near Beech Daly. Police say there was a struggle and a foot chase that led into a backyard. That's where they allege that Bourne stabbed Scanlon in the neck several times. Scanlon fired his gun, striking Bourne in the chest, and the officer also sustained a gunshot wound to his left forearm.
Bourne then sped off in Scanlon's scout car, driving himself to St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, police said.
Bourne was transported to University of Michigan hospitals in Ann Arbor and was listed in fair condition Wednesday.
Scanlon died about 11 p.m. Tuesday at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills.
No knife has been recovered, but police found Scanlon's gun near St. Mary Mercy Hospital, said Scanlon's supervisor, Commander Bryan Turnbull of the Police Department's 8th (Northwest) Precinct.
Oakland County Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Kanu Virani performed the autopsy and said investigators did not initially know Scanlon had been stabbed. Police initially thought he had died of gunshot wounds.
"It was not a good sight," Virani said Wednesday. "It was obvious, looking at the number of stab wounds and the way they were inflicted, that someone was trying to take his life."
Flags flew at half-staff at the city's various police precincts Wednesday and police officers wore black memorial bands on their badges.
Cmdr. Stacy Brackens of the 8th Precinct held back tears through his bloodshot eyes as he spoke of his friend and fellow officer.
"Mike will be sorely missed. He was a policemen's policeman, a young father, a family man," Brackens said at a news conference.
Turnbull called Scanlon "one of my most dependable officers," who once won a lifesaving medal and "officer of the quarter" precinct award.
"He was always willing to break in a new officer, so he was the one I would turn to when a new officer came here," Turnbull said.
Scanlon gained a reputation as a master at fatal traffic accident investigations.
"The guy was meticulous, unselfish and just an all around great officer," Turnbull said. "He wasn't afraid to get involved in anything. When someone needed backup, he was always there."
When officers were busy at accident scenes, Scanlon frequently volunteered to handle the reports and paperwork.
Scanlon also used his mechanical skills to fix up the precinct's cars that are used in antidrug programs, polishing the tires and making sure they ran safely.
He used to bring his 2-year-old son in to work on the cars with him, and allowed other children to sit in the cars and run the sirens.
Eighth Precinct Sgt. Joe O'Leary said Scanlon commanded respect throughout the precinct.
"He was a dedicated officer who came in and did his job every day, no frills, just a quiet, hardworking man," O'Leary said.
Cmdr. Dennis Richardson of the department's major crimes division downplayed questions as to why Scanlon was in a car by himself.
The department has a longstanding policy that traffic officers can ride alone on shifts that end before 10 p.m., he said.
"That's part of police work," Richardson said. "Officers ride alone. I ride alone at times."
Turnbull said he does not believe Scanlon called for backup and that "the incident probably happened so fast that he didn't know he needed it."
As to whether the department should change the policy on officers riding solo, "that's up to the chief," said Inspector Fred Campbell of the major crimes division. Chief Jerry Oliver did not attend the news conference.
In a statement, Oliver said, "Our thoughts and prayers for healing and comfort go out to the family of Officer Scanlon."
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said that when he heard about the shooting, he woke his twin 6-year-old sons so his family could pray together. He said they asked for strength for the Scanlon family and the Police Department.
The mayor said he met Scanlon's wife after arriving at the hospital at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.
"When I walked into the room, she was feeding her 1-month-old baby," Kilpatrick said. "It was sad, because when I left home, my wife was feeding our baby."
"I told her the city will be there for them," he said of his conversation with Scanlon's widow.
I know this will effect everyone. It bothers me knowing that it happened right around the corner from where I live. I wished I was out and about at the time this happened. I wish I could have helped a fellow officer. We will remember him.
Officer A. Rendall assigned to the 11pct
02-23-2002, 02:34 #2Bite and Hold Moderator
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
IN VALOR THERE IS HOPE
02-23-2002, 03:34 #3kromp Guest
Benefit for Ofc. Scanlon
I attended the benefit party for DPD Ofc. Scanlon tonight, and was very impressed by the turnout. I met with a lot of PO's from a wide variety of departments, and the turnout was very good. Although Ofc. Scanlon is gone, by the looks of this gathering, he will not be forgotten.
Stay safe, Kromp