As debate around what police body camera footage is or isn’t fit for public release swirls, the Duluth Police Department dropped a video of a clutch rescue.
On September 19, officer Joe DeJesus responded to a call about a suicide threat at the Holiday Center parking ramp. As the wind whipped over the parking garage’s top level, DeJesus hopped out of his squad car and approached a 32-year-old man sitting on the ledge.
What’s going on, man? Can I talk to you for a minute?” DeJesus asks the initially reticent man.
The officer tells the man, whose face is blacked out for privacy reasons, that they received a call from the elevator.
“I’m not here to jam you up. I’m here to help you,” DeJesus continues. “Can you just tell me what’s going on?”
“There’s no point,” the man slowly begins.
Watch Officer Joe DeJesus save a male in crisis who was threatening to jump off a downtown parking ramp. This is an example of the life saving work our officers do every day. The male was taken in for help and was uninjured thanks to the excellent work by Officer DeJesus. This incident occurred last week.
Posted by Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay on Wednesday, September 30, 2015
“There is no point in going on with life when everything [you’ve] ever done has caught up to you,” he says.
“When you look in the mirror, this is when you know you want to … die. This is when you know, when you can honestly go to the bathroom, look … in the mirror, stare at yourself and say, ‘I’m OK with not living anymore.’”
The cool-headed cop briefly keeps the conversation going before offering the man a cigarette. DeJesus walks back to his car and returns seconds later with a smoke.
“Is a [Marlboro] red OK?” DeJesus asks, handing him the cigarette. “Do you have a lighter?”
The officer appears to grab the man and pull him off the ledge before the video cuts. But the best part of DeJesus’ cig-offering ploy? He doesn’t even smoke.
“This is an occasion where officer DeJesus did some quick thinking,” police spokesman Ron Tinsley says. “Officer DeJesus doesn’t smoke. He carries a pack of cigarettes to offer people. There’s different occasions where they may come to a call where they need to talk to somebody. If they know they smoke they might offer them a smoke, you know?”
“This is an example of the life saving work our officers do every day,” wrote police Chief Gordon Ramsay, who posted the video on Facebook. “The male was taken in for help and was uninjured thanks to the excellent work by Officer DeJesus.”
Tinsley declined to comment on whether there was internal discussion about whether the video should be released, saying he’s not involved in those decisions. Since being posted Wednesday, it has been viewed more than 21,700 times.
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