It's not the kind of story you see printed in the newspapers.
A distraught underaged girl, pushed to the ground and kicked three times in the stomach by her adult boyfriend. Police officers like the JPD's Chad Comer have heard it all before that never makes it any easier.
"The victim said that she is possibly pregnant with his child," Comer wrote in his report on the Oct. 8 incident. Later that day, Comer arrested the boyfriend for felony child abuse.
That was just one of the events in an average day for Comer or any other officer in Joplin or anywhere else in this country. Except for times of crisis like 9-11 or for Joplin, the Monday shooting at Memorial Middle School, we have a tendency to take what our police do for granted.
Unfortunately, while we overlook what the police department does for us, there are others who don't.
One of those people is James W. Schottel, a St. Louis lawyer.
Schottel, only two days after the Joplin Police Department was rightly heralded for its work in keeping the Memorial Middle School situation under control, filed a lawsuit against the department in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
Schottel (pictured above) is representing Jeffery Murphy, who claims he suffers "physical and mental anguish and suffering, past, present and future medical expenses, emotional distress, humiliation, fear, loss of freedom, deprivation of constitutional rights, lost earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of bodily functions, and other related expenses and damages" after being accidentally shot in the hand by Comer on March 27, 2005.
That must have been some bullet.
In the petition, Schottel, acting on behalf of Murphy, claims Comer used "excessive and unreasonable" force on his client, and that Comer's "conduct shocks the conscience."
The JPD is accused of negligence because it "failed to instruct, supervise, control and discipline police officers" in their duties.
According to the lawsuit, the shooting took place when Comer was attempting to arrest Murphy on a parole absconder warrant. "As plaintiff was going down on the floor on his hands and knees, Defendant Comer reached for plaintiff's right hand with his right hand, which was holding his gun, and Defendant Comer shot Plaintiff in his right wrist/hand."
The lawsuit does not mention a specific amount Schottel and Murphy are seeking, but undoubtedly they are looking for a big payday.
Schottel, a paraplegic, is best known for Donald Trump's television who "The Apprentice" for discriminating against the handicapped. Schottel said the show's rules were biased against handicapped applicants. At the time Schottel filed his lawsuit no one had been discriminated against:
Schottel does not claim to have been turned away yet, but his suit seeks a court order guaranteeing he will be permitted "to apply and be considered for 'The Apprentice"' in time for a casting call slated for St. Louis on Friday.
When you consider the risks that our police officers take on a daily basis, the lack of recognition they receive for the work they do, wages which are considerably below other far less important jobs, and then throw ludicrous lawsuits like this one on top of it, we are truly fortunate that so many good people continue to work in law enforcement.