While on the matter of police conduct, actions by Lincoln police officers Monday at the Walmart in South Lincoln deserve special recognition.
A man there told employees he had a gun and asked customers if they "wanted to see a show" and watch someone die. Despite the man not taking his hands out of his pockets and motioning as if he had a gun, officers didn’t pull the trigger.
Turns out, the man didn’t have a gun. He was cited for disturbing the peace and taken into emergency protective custody over concerns about his mental health.
In an era when police are frequently accused of shooting first and asking questions later, Lincoln officers peacefully defused a tense situation with an unarmed subject. This incident very easily could have resulted in a man’s death and myriad questions whether the officers’ use of force was justifiable.
However, such heartbreaking aftermath never occurred, and a man in need of help received assistance without becoming a statistic. The officers who responded and resolved this standoff without incident handled this frightening situation admirably.