Edward Morrison puts a different face on the policing debate.
The 22-year-old Indiana University Northwest police officer was moonlighting as a security guard at the city of Chicago auto pound on the Far South Side when he was stabbed Monday — allegedly by a man working at the facility.
Heriance Turman, 38, was arrested after he surrendered to police. He has been charged with attempted first-degree murder.
“I am blessed to be alive. I just want to definitely put it out there, a big thank you to the first responders — the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department,” Morrison said in his first in-depth interview.
“They responded so fast and with so much force, it brings tears to my eyes.”
Turman’s bail was set at $950,000 during a court hearing Wednesday.
As for a possible motive, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Turman was charged with attempted murder over a “verbal encounter, which turned physical.”
The security firm that employs Morrison, the Fidei Group, will present him with an award of valor at 4 p.m. Thursday at its corporate offices in Tinley Park.
“Officer Morrison went above and beyond the call of duty, even after being greatly injured and having lost a large amount of blood, he ran to the client’s offices and made sure that area was secure and the attacker had not gone after employees. He secured the area until CPD arrived,” Steve Schabacker, one of the firm’s owners, said in a written statement.
“Officer Morrison exercised great restraint in not using deadly force on the attacker, even when his personal safety was in danger. He would absolutely have been justified in using deadly force, but he chose not to,” Schabacker pointed out.
United Road Towing, which runs the auto pound, refused to answer questions about the incident.
Morrison declined to go into details about the attack. He denied reports that there was a struggle.
“I was viciously attacked by this man,” Morrison told me.
Although he was armed, the police officer said he is left-handed and was sitting in the vehicle when he was attacked.
“I tried to get my gun, and it was a failed attempt. My next step was to throw that truck into drive and get the heck out of there. That’s what I managed to do,” he said.
He was stabbed twice in the head, and also in an ear, in an arm and in a shoulder.
“I got a big slash across my face that is 8 centimeters. It sucks that this happened, but I’m alive to talk about it and I’m truly blessed,” he said.
Morrison said he pulled out his gun after he got back to the trailer and told everybody to stay close and away from the doors.
“I’m not a hero. I was just doing my job. I just tried to do the best I could in the condition I was in. I didn’t do it to be honored. I’d do this for anybody,” he said.
Schabacker said his company is honoring Morrison because it is important to recognize these kinds of acts by police officers.
“Police officers have one of the toughest jobs out there, making life and death decisions in a fraction of a second. Sometimes the wrong decision is made and that is part of being human, but more often they do an amazing job and make good decisions,” Schabacker said.
“I believe people hearing some of the good, along with the sacrifices those like Officer Morrison made, will help balance all of the negative out there regarding police departments in general,” he said.
Maybe. Maybe not.