Donald Trump has been highly criticizing people for protesting police violence. Yet, this Tennessee shooting just proves that he has been wrong all along.
DeKalb County, Tennessee deputies tried to pull over Michael Dial last April, because he was driving on a suspended licence. Instead of waiting, the suspect drove away in a 40-plus-year-old pickup truck pulling a fully loaded trailer. Nevertheless, the police followed him on a very low-speed chase.
They told investigators the speeds topped out at 50 mph, according to The Guardian:
‘(It was) more like a funeral procession (than a highway chase).’
Deputies at first used a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) to slow Dial’s pickup. That involved nudging his vehicle to turn it sideways. That was when Sheriff Oddie Shoupe radioed the officers and told them to stop that maneuver, and just shoot the driver.
The deputy had nudged Dial from the road when Deputy Adam West came up in his own personal vehicle and fired three shots into the pickup as it rolled down into a ditch.
Dial died from a gunshot wound to the head.
The Sheriff Shoupe arrived on the scene, obviously upset that he had missed the action.
Shoupe did not realize that he was being captured on tape by another deputy’s body camera at the time. He said:
‘I love this shit. God, I tell you what, I thrive on it. If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherfucker they’re full of shit (laughing). Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county.’
Dial’s widow, Robyn Dial, sued the sheriff for allegedly using excessive force against her unarmed husband. The lawsuit filing read:
‘It was not only inappropriate but also unconscionable for Defendant Shoupe to give the order to use deadly force.’
The filing also called Shoupe’s decision proof of “malicious and sadistic mindset.” The city of Sparta and the two officers who fired on the unarmed man were also named as defendants.
Attorney for Dial, David Weissman, told The Guardian:
‘The comments as seen on the video are extremely disturbing. I’m not sure how anybody can thrive on the taking of a life, let alone somebody in law enforcement.’
In June, the county district attorney declared the shooting justified. That was when Mrs. Dial went forward with the suit.
Featured Image via Blue Light Media Screen Grab.