Two white sheriff’s deputies saved a suicidal black man in a perfect example of how all lives matter when the police are involved.
It happened in Columbia, South Carolina, off the overpass of Highway 277 and Parklane Road. Richland County Sheriff’s Department Lt. McLendon pulled up on a man standing on the side of a bridge, ready to jump. McLendon knew he didn’t have much time.
“I walked up as quickly as I could and all I could think was ‘risk vs. reward. I’ve got to get this guy,’’” Lt. McLendon recalled, WISTV is reporting.
The man was talking on the phone and was very distraught. He told Lt. McLendon that his wife and kids had just left him and he didn’t see any other option than to end his life. McLendon took his hand and tried to calm the man down, speaking from the heart.
“It was very unscripted,” he said. “I told him I loved him. Don’t jump. I wasn’t going to let him jump.”
And he didn’t. He was able to get on his radio and call for help. Senior Investigator David Goff arrived and helped pull the man back over the railing.
“We both had him,” Lt. McLendon said. “The investigator told him, ‘You’re not going to jump. We’re not going to let you do that. And if you do, you’re taking us with you.’ And he said, ‘Well, you’re going with me.’ And we said, ‘No, we’re not. You’re not going over that bridge.’”
Soon after, EMS arrived and put the man into an ambulance.
“He kept saying, ‘I’m going to jump out,’” Goff said. “And I finally said, ‘No, you’re not. If I have to ride in there with you, you’re going to the hospital. He stopped, looked at me, and said, ‘Will you meet me there?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’”
Goff said he’s seen too many people actually complete the act and he was glad to be on the scene to stop the man from taking his own life.
“We need to put people first,” Lt. McLendon said. “That’s what our job is. And I’d do it again. I’d have to.”
I don’t know if you’ll hear about this in the media – probably not since it doesn’t fit the narrative that all cops are trigger-happy racists. But the truth is this is what they do day in and day out, without the cameras rolling and whether or not Black Lives Matter knows or even cares about it.