17-year-old Jamal Rutledge was arrested by Fort Lauderdale police and while in custody at the precinct, he was able to help save Officer Franklin Foulks, his arresting officer’s life and now he’s being honored for that heroic fete. In the video below,Foulks is seen processing Rutledge on charges of violation of probation for criminal mischief and burglary. Foulks started to slump over in his chair and rolled onto the floor. Rutlege knew something was wrong immediately and kicked the security fence and yelled for help in an effort to alert other officers in the area.
Rutledge’s commotion worked and three officers came over to find Foulkes barely conscious, grabbing his chest. According to reports, Officers Robert Norvis and Raymond Ketchmark overheard Bunin’s radio transmission and arrived to assist. Norvis began performing CPR on Foulks while Ketchmark grabbed a nearby defibrillator to begin stimulating Foulks’ heart. Foulks was then taken to Broward Health Medical Center.
Broward Health medical staff praised Rutledge’s speedy reaction and the quick response, which were key to Foulks’ survival. Rutledge’s actions aren’t a surprise. Anyone with a heart, handcuffed or not would have tried to save a man who needed help, who was practically dying in front of him.
And while this story is plenty heartwarming, we can’t help but call out certain media outlets for how they choose to cover it. CNN called Rutledge a “juvenile defendant” and look how they started the story: “A teen who lands in lockup a few times can get on a police department’s nerves.” And who knows what they asked detective DeAnnA Greenlaw, when she offered this gem: “Officers have seen a lot of the teen since, Greenlaw said, having arrested him ‘multiple times.’”
Rutledge, along with the three other officers involved in saving Foulks’ life will be officially honored on Jan. 21 at a city commission meeting. We definitely don’t want to turn this into a race issue, but we can’t help but wonder…if Rutledge was a White teenager, would the media refer to him as a “troubled kid” when they mentioned his multiple run-ins with the law?
What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.
Check out Rutledge’s heroism!