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Lakeland Police Standoff
Police Standoff in Lakeland, Florida
Monday August 28th, around 2:00 PM, on Highway 92 in Lakeland, Florida, my fiancé came upon a police situation on the street that my kids have to cross to get home from school. Naturally concerned, he asked the officer if it was a hostage situation. The officer told him no, it was a man who barricaded his self, with a gun. According to someone at the scene the man, Robert, had propane tanks. He said, if anyone was to go in, he would blow the place up. Next thing I know I am getting a frantic call asking me if the girls had made it home. They had. I decided to meet him where he was, it was happening at my local corner store, and I had never seen a police standoff. I have heard more than enough about them lately, but I have never seen what goes on, in the heat of the moment.
Once I made it there, the situation had already been going on for two hours, and my fiancé had been there for most of that time. You could feel the tension in the air. What struck me, was how hard these officers were trying to resolve this situation peacefully. Of course, swat was present. It would be bad judgment to keep them away. The point is they were there, they could have ended the situation at any time, but they didn't. They had officers of every race, and every rank, working together to resolve this situation peacefully.
Doing a hard job well
I stayed and watched for a while, and I listened to the police speaking to some of the people standing around next to us. He asked them if the guy who barricaded himself had a history of drug use. They said he didn't, but who knows if they were telling the truth? I mean would you want to say anything bad about someone you know, in a situation like this? The police were only asking because they were trying to get to the bottom of this, they just wanted a peaceful solution. Something else I noticed that the police had to deal with, civilians trying to instigate. One man was screaming how awful they were for having their guns available, while another was goading them to shoot the suspect.
I did not stay the whole time. It went on for almost seven hours. I would have a tough time dealing with the emotions from this not ending peacefully. The thing is, I noticed something today. I noticed that Lakeland Police wanted the same thing everyone else wanted, a peaceful ending. You could see the worry in their eyes. The negotiator worked tirelessly just to get a few words from, Robert, the man inside. They were having no luck, but they kept trying.
Great work until it was over
With all the bad videos out there, I just wanted to put an unpopular point of view out there. I despise dirty police, as much as everyone else, but they are not all dirty. They do not sit around and hope for something like this to go down. They are not hoping for the worst. They are there trying to do a job, and making sure everyone is safe. This is what they did. Unfortunately the day after this article was written things changed. I am not going to change the rest of this article, because I stand by what I said, they had a job to do. I think they handled it in the best way they could, until the situation was contained.
We were told at at 8:27 PM, by one of the Lakeland police officers that the suspect, who was unresponsive most of the day, had committed suicide. The problem is, that night, Lakeland police denied the suicide, and said that everything ended peacefully, and no arrests were made. At first, I found this possibility ludicrous, and did not believe the police would just let the suspect go, after creating a six hour stand off.
The crazy thing is, that is exactly what they did. The night of Friday September 1st, we drove by and noticed the street was blocked in the same area. We drove around the neighborhood, and noticed a man standing against the garbage. We heard the police hollering for Robert to come to the door. We asked the man, if they were having problems with the same guy. He said yes. We made a snide remark about them not handling it well the first time, and then we noticed he was aiming a gun toward the Mobile home park. We apologized quickly and drove away still wondering what was going on. It was not until Saturday we learned what really went on.
According to Lakeland PD's Facebook page "On Friday, September 1, 2017 at approximately 10:38 pm, Lakeland Police officers responded to area of New Tampa Highway and Chesnut Road after a report of a possible shooting. Officers located Morris Parker, age 54, inside the residence at lot #1. Parker had been shot one time in the upper body"(p.2, 2017). The police ended up having the Fire Marshal bring the robot to the scene. The robot picked up Robert in the mobile home, and a gun in close proximity. They ended up using gas to get him out. He is now in custody charged with attempted murder. Parker was still in the hospital, when the Lakeland PD last updated their Facebook page.
© 2017 Lisa Williams