Results of Internal Investigation into Officer’s ActionsMay 27, 2014
On May 11, 2014 at approximately 11:45 p.m., Mobile Police were called to the area of Baker High School for a report of individuals trespassing onto the school’s campus. As officers entered the campus, they observed around 100 juveniles in approximately 20 – 30 vehicles. Upon activating their emergency lights, the juveniles ran to vehicles and attempted to flee the area through the exit to Airport Boulevard.
Officer John Schaffer responded to the call, stopped his vehicle at the school’s exit and activated his emergency lights. Officer Schaffer exited his vehicle when he noticed several vehicles driving towards him and began to use his flashlight to get the attention of the drivers in order to stop the vehicles. At that time, an SUV traveling approximately 30 miles per hour without its headlights on came extremely close to striking the officer, causing him to fear for his safety. Officer Schaffer drew his weapon due to the imminent threat posed by the oncoming vehicle and the unknown intention of the driver. The officer was able to avoid the oncoming vehicle and no shots were fired. Once the SUV passed him, the officer turned his attention to the next two vehicles in line behind the fleeing SUV and demanded their keys. Realizing the drivers no longer posed a threat; the officer holstered his weapon and continued to collect keys from the drivers of the subsequent vehicles.
The driver of the fleeing vehicle was stopped on Airport Boulevard and escorted back to the scene. It was determined that the juvenile driver panicked at the sight of police cars arriving and unintentionally placed the officer in danger as he attempted to flee. No charges were filed against the driver. It was determined the juveniles were participating in a school prank and there were no property damages. The juveniles were released to parents or other responsible adults on scene.
The internal investigation into Officer Schaffer’s actions found that in drawing his weapon, he acted objectively reasonable and was within the parameters of the Mobile Police Department General Orders.
Ashley H. Rains
Public Information Office