A man suing police in the city of Louisiana, Missouri, claims he was prevented from rescuing his step-son, as he perished in a burning house.
I don’t get how a police officer’s duty to protect and serve includes the right to stop anyone from entering a burning building and trying to save someone who is dying inside. According to Ryan Miller’s lawsuit, as reported at WGEM.com,
Officers Jeffrey Salois and William Harrison prevented Ryan Miller from entering the home to save his stepson Riley Rieser by forcibly moving and by repeatedly tasing Ryan Miller, including once in the police cruiser as Riley Rieser was being removed from the home.
When Ryan and Cathy Miller woke up to the fire, they were blocked from their young boy’s room. They ran outside to try a different entrance to get to him, but were intercepted by police.
As you can see in the video below, witnesses were also outraged that the police themselves did nothing to actually help the baby boy but stand around and wait for the fire trucks to arrive.
Lori Miller, Riley’s grandmother, said police stunned Ryan Miller as he tried to get back in the house.
“He tried to get back in the house to get the baby,” Lori Miller said. “They took my son to jail because he tried to save his son.”
Ryan Miller’s sister-in-law doesn’t think the police handled the situation correctly.
“It’s just heartless. How could they be so heartless? And while they all just stood around and waited for the fire department, what kind of police officer wouldn’t try and save a three year old burning in a house?” said Emily Miller. “We’ve been going through pictures and he’s just smiling in every picture. He was just a happy, go-lucky kid.”
It is completely possible as far as I know, that Ryan might have died along with his son if the police had not stopped him.
But so what?
It isn’t the job of police to make our life and death decisions for us. Ryan was right to react as he did in that situation, and the police should have stood aside.
The police may not believe that they should have to risk their lives. I won’t judge them for that. But this is not the first time that I have heard of the police preventing others from being good Samaritans.
We need new policy!