Rebuttal Argument– Splash305

Suicide Among Cops and FBI Agents

Many people who work in this kind of field deal with many mental stressers. Many of police officers and FBI agents get so overwhelmed with the things going on in and out of the work place, they can’t seem to find healthy ways to deal with them. In most cases when cops feel the need to commit suicide because of whatever they having going on they can’t deal with, they often do it in directly. They will have another cop shoot and kill them. As explained by Elizabeth A. Arias she gives us a specifice case study where this took place. A 36-year-old Caucasian male (A.A.) drove into a local convenience store to obtain gas for his car. He put $11.75 worth of gasoline in his vehicle and drove off without paying. A civilian followed A.A. and persuaded him to return to pay for the stolen gas. Police officers had already been called to the scene and upon A.A.’s return to the store, they approached him while he was still in his car. He refused to speak to the officers, backed his vehicle up, nearly striking two other officers, and began what turned into a high speed chase. During the chase, A.A. drove recklessly, reaching speeds up to 100 mph, and several times turned off his headlights and turned on a blue strobe light. Deputies attempted to block the vehicle several times, but A.A. managed to elude the roadblocks. The chase ended after about 10 min. When the officer’s approached A.A.’s car, he exited his vehicle with a thermos in one hand and a 0.45 caliber semi-automatic handgun in the other. After he pointed his weapon at an officer, he was fatally shot. It was later determined that A.A.’s gun was not loaded. Inside the thermos were several bags of cocaine which police believed were stolen from the police evidence room.

A.A. had previously served as a sheriff’s deputy for 13 years, but at the time of the incident—and for the prior 5 years—he was an identification and evidence technician for the local police department. On the day of the incident, he was off-duty and was driving a police department van with the police decals removed. It is not clear whether he was the one who removed the decals. The van and A.A.’s use of the blue strobe light led officers to believe that the suspect they were chasing was indeed a police officer. Of importance is that all local police officers were allowed to get free gas directly across the street from where A.A. stole it, which suggests his motivation for creating the incident.

In the months preceding the deadly encounter, A.A. spoke with his supervisor about his financial hardships: mounting bills, growing debt that was covered with borrowed money, maxed out credit cards, and a re-mortgaged home. Approximately 2 weeks prior to the incident, A.A. told his supervisor that his wife had incurred even more debt and he felt increasingly depressed over the situation. Other police officers who were in contact with A.A. on the day before the shooting did not observe anything remarkable. He had no psychiatric history and had always been in good standing with the police department. Although a toxicology report was positive for cocaine and amphetamines at the time of his death, A.A. had never failed a drug test with the department.


Works Cited

Arias, Elizabeth A., et al. “Police Officers Who Commit Suicide by Cop: A Clinical Study with Analysis.” Journal of Forensic Sciences, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 25 Aug. 2008,

2 thoughts on “Rebuttal Argument– Splash305”

  1. Well, that was fascinating. It read like a dramatic anecdote, and you played out the details in good crime novel fashion: First he’s an anonymous Caucasian male, then he engineers a suicide, then he turns out to be a cop, then a cop with problems. It’s cleverly done.

    For it to have relevance to your argument, it would need to demonstrate something crucial to the logic of your own thesis. I can’t tell out of context whether it does so or not. This cop is disturbed, but not apparently about his work. We get no sense from the example that he was overwhelmed by spending his life poring over garish crime scenes. That would appear to be a fatal shortcoming of this example.

    I’d like to help. I did a Google Scholar search for: [“crime scene investigators” occupational hazards], putting the first three words in quotes to search for that exact phrase, and judging that “occupational” and “hazards” would yield evidence of problems CSIs have on the job (perhaps PTSD, depression, compassion fatigue, anger, substance abuse . . . ).

    It was a good idea, and yielded what looks like a trove of useful material for you. Some highlights:

    Click to access 4.pdf

    There’s material here on stress, mental health, PTSD, humor, resilience, psychological aptitude, overexposure, work-related trauma and risk. Check out the sources they cite, too, in case one of them leads you to evidence of abuse, suicide, or other negative reactions to a Crime Scene career.

    Was that helpful?


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