A Chicago resident made headlines this week after rescuing an injured police officer from a smoking patrol car. The officer, whose name has not been released, was on the South Side of Chicago with his partner when they were called to a foot chase. On his way there, the officer was cut off by another driver, causing him the veer into a tree.
The resident, who saw the accident unfold in real time, ran over to the smoking SUV, opened the door and pulled the officer to safety. Other onlookers also made their way over to the scene to offer assistance.
Kevin Russell, who happened to be in his car, filmed the rescue and posted the video on Facebook. The clip has since gone viral with many noting that the events showed that despite divisions in the community regarding law enforcement, residents won’t look away when it comes to saving a life.
“People think that people of color and police don’t get along and don’t have a good relationship, but in a situation like this when something incredible happens, you do the right thing,” Russell told CBS Chicago. “You jump into action. This isn’t a police officer. This is a human being.”
“I was really able to capture the real heart of the South side of Chicago and the citizens in the city of Chicago,” he added.
Pastor Phillip Cusic, who heard the crash from his church across the street, ran over when he saw the commotion. "First I heard a car moving fast and then you could hear the wheels screeching and then a boom!" Cusic said. "We were right here in the middle of the street so we just sort of got him by his arm and sort of helped escort him over to the street but he was more concerned with his fellow officer."
The other officer was helped by two other men, as well as Belinda Chism, a resident of the neighborhood. "I went in my house and I got two pillows so that one of the officers that were laying down could put his head on it," she said. "That's what we're supposed to do. You know, everything in the world is not bad and we have to change this world. If somebody has to show the world what love is then that's what we have to do."
According to the Chicago Police Department, the officer was rushed to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.