On Tuesday night, a Florida police officer nearly died after being unintentionally exposed to fentanyl and reportedly overdosing during a traffic stop. Her life was saved by another officer who administered an opioid overdose-reversing drug, a moment which was caught on camera and released to the public to show the dangers of fentanyl.
Tavares Officer Courtney Bannick had just recovered narcotics that were rolled up inside a dollar bill from a vehicle that she had pulled over. Although she was wearing gloves while handling the narcotics, her fellow officers believe the wind may have blown some of the drugs into her system, causing her to accidentally ingest some of it.
Shortly after recovering the narcotics, Bannick began having difficulty breathing. An officer at the scene heard her choking and out-of-breath on her radio and went to check on her. A news release from the police department said that when the officer “walked to her vehicle to check on her, he observed her to be in and out of consciousness and needing immediate medical attention.”
Two of the officers on the scene immediately administered Narcan. Bannick regained consciousness and began talking, but lost consciousness again and seemed to stop breathing. She was administered three doses of Narcan, then transported to a hospital where she is expected to make a full recovery.
After regaining consciousness, Bannick asked for the bodycam footage of the incident to be released to the public to spread awareness of how dangerous fentanyl is.
“I have done this 100 times before the same way,” said Bannick. “It only takes one time and a minimal amount. I’m thankful I wasn’t alone and had immediate help.”
Tavares Police Detective Courtney Sullivan referenced the bodycam footage, saying, “She was completely lifeless. She looks deceased in these videos.”
“She doesn’t really remember much,” Sullivan said. “She remembers waking up and seeing everyone surrounding her. She remembers feeling like she could breathe. She said obviously it’s freaky to see her in such a lifeless state.”
“If the other officers weren’t there, there’s a very high chance and probability that today would be different and that we would be wearing our thin blue line – the straps that go over our badges,” Sullivan added.
(WARNING: Video may be disturbing for some viewers)
TAVARES, Florida – A Tavares Police officer is OK after being exposed to fentanyl and overdosing around midnight Tuesday.
Officer Courtney Bannick was exposed to the lethal drug during a traffic stop where she found various narcotics on a passenger in the vehicle. pic.twitter.com/ZLgGnQFi2V
— Denn Dunham (@DennD68) December 14, 2022