Crime And Law

Body cam video: Englewood officer comforts child left behind after pursuit

ENGLEWOOD — An Englewood police officer stopped chasing two suspects to comfort a young boy in the middle of a police chase.

Police said the boy’s grandmother and aunt left him behind July 10 as they tried to escape.

Chases are dangerous for everyone involved, but it’s not very often to see the human side of the decisions made in these tense moments — decisions like the one officer Julie Brownfield made when she stopped chasing the suspects to care for a scared boy, which was captured by her body camera.

RELATED: Shoplifting suspects with child arrested after high-speed chase in Englewood

The chase reached speeds in excess of 75 mph as an officer pursued two women down Hoke Road last week who were accused of shoplifting from an Englewood Walmart store. The Hyundai Tuscon crashed into some weeds following the 90-second chase.

Two women in the SUV get out and take off on foot.

“The officer’s natural instinct, typically, is to pursue the suspect,” Engewood police Sgt. Corey Follick said.

But that’s not what happened.

Brownfield, a veteran officer of nearly two decades, is about to chase after the women, until she sees a young boy in the vehicle.

“Come here, sweetie,” she said to him.

“I’m not pursuing. They left the child behind. I’m with the child,” she told dispatchers.

The 7-year-old boy was in the vehicle during the chase, and was left behind by his grandmother and aunt.

“You OK sweetheart, are you hurt?” the officer asks the child while she tries to comfort him. “It’s OK baby OK?”

Follick, who is Brownfield’s supervisor, said his officer did the right thing.

“The video speaks for itself, as you can see, she’s very compassionate with the child, probably being a mother herself, that motherly instinct kicked in,” he said. “Even though most police officers’ instinct is to do whatever they need to do to catch the bad guy — bad gals in this situation — this child’s welfare was more important than apprehending the suspects immediately.”

A short time later, other officers were able to catch up with the women using information relayed by Brownfield.

Officers took the child’s grandmother, 43-year-old Diona Murray, into custody. Murray’s juvenile daughter, the boy’s aunt, also is facing charges, according to a police report.

Follick said navigating that entire situation wasn’t easy.

“She has to de-escalate that situation and calm herself down and then also the child that was involved in this incident, and still she was able to communicate to other officers the suspects’ physical description and which direction they ran,” he said.

The boy was returned safely to his mother in Trotwood.

As far as his grandmother, Murray is still behind bars at the Montgomery County Jail, where she is being held on $50,000 bond on suspicion of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, online jail records show.

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