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Body Cam Video may exonerate white OK officer in shooting black suspect

Body Cam Video may exonerate white OK officer in shooting black suspect

Pastor called 911 because suspect apparently intended to murder ex-girlfriend at her wedding.

Thanks to a tip from commenter Gremlin1974 right here on Legal Insurrection I was directed to this relatively high-quality body camera footage of a police officer engaging a suspect with gunfire, following the suspect pointing a pistol at the officer.

Further details of the event were reported by local news station Fox 23 and by Chuck Ross at the Daily Caller.

The shooting took place on January 16, 2015 in Muskogee, OK. The ex-girlfriend of 21-year-old Terence Walker, black, was getting married, an event to which he took umbrage. His solution was to threaten to shoot her on her wedding day, including such details as noting that he had a particular bullet selected just for her.

When the bride approached her pastor in tears and shared these threats, he immediately called 911, saying of Walker: “He’s here with a gun,” Jones said of Walker on the 911 call. “I need a police officer because I got to stop this. I got a whole bunch of people here, and I don’t need nobody hurt.”

Police Officer Chansey McMillin, white, was dispatched to the scene. The body camera released begins as his vehicle is pulling into the church parking lot, captures the shooting itself, and continues for several more minutes until the crime scene has been secured and McMillin is on his way to the police station for debriefing.

The video shows Officer McMillin approaching Walker, asking whether he is armed, and beginning to frisk him. Walker is clearly very nervous, and McMillin asks him why he’s shaking. Walker bolts, and McMillin pursues him on foot.

At one point Walker appears to drop something, bend over and pick it up, turning towards McMillin in the process, and that’s when McMillin engages Walker with five fast shots fired from his Glock service pistol.

Walker falls to the ground and slides into a drainage ditch beside the road. He never moves again, suggesting that shot placement was adequate to immediately neutralize the threat.

A close examination of the video suggests that McMillin drew his pistol and fired the first shot when Walker was turned towards him, but that successive shots fired by McMillin occurred when Walker had again turned away to flee.  Walker was, of course, still armed at this point as a silver pistol, reportedly with the hammer cocked, was ultimately recovered immediately beside his body.

Nevertheless, I would not be surprised if the autopsy were to disclose that some or all of the bullet wounds to Walker entered the posterior of his body.  This is not uncommon in dynamic interactions like shootings, but naturally could potentially provide fodder for the Sharpton’s of the world.

Also notable about the video is McMillin’s physiological response to the stress of the engagement, this response continuing for many minutes after the shooting is finished.

It appears from the video that the lens of the body camera is located on McMillin’s weak-side shoulder (meaning, for the left-handed McMillin, his right shoulder). Any body camera location has advantages and disadvantages, as can be seen here where much of the left-hand side of the video is obscured by McMillin’s left arm gripping his pistol.

The ultimate take-home, of course, is always the same in these events: non-compliance and pointing guns at the police is very likely to get you shot.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Comments

gad guy dead, good.
a bride and groom scarred for lie, bad.
this idiots jealousy may have ruined the couples marriage, sounds like they have a good pastor (just from quick perusals) so I hope their love is enough to overcome this.
too often we fixate on the bad guy (often circumstances dictate we must though) and not on the repercussions their actions at the time of the conflict cause later in life.
one solace I hope they take is that he is no longer a threat to her and I suspect he would have killed her at some point in the future.
if they are able to get through this then thats 2 good things, a dead bad guy and a solid (I hope) marriage.

    first line should say BAD guy not gad guy.
    letters are literally worn off my keyboard.

      platypus in reply to dmacleo. | January 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Every so often, I stop by my local computer store and pick up a couple of sheets of adhesive keyboard letters. Cost about $4 per sheet. Just clean the keys and stick ’em on.

      Alternate solution: white model paint (for black keyboards) to repaint the characters. After it dries, use a clear nail polish to seal it.

      Happy key pounding! 🙂

        Gremlin1974 in reply to platypus. | January 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm

        LOL, I think I am actually going to have to replace the actual keys to on my laptop soon, they aren’t warn but the don’t respond that well anymore either.

          onlyabill in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm

          I had to do that recently with my home laptop. Was able to find the replacement on Amazon and it took only 5 minutes to swap it out. Easy peasy and cheap! I would recommend that you search for your make/model and then be sure to review the keyboard photo against your current keyboard to verify it is the correct one. I had to do that 2 or three times until I found the exact replacement.

      ConradCA in reply to dmacleo. | January 27, 2015 at 2:30 am

      “a bride and groom scarred for lie, bad.”

      Life?

Hard to tell exactly when the first shot was fired … but the suspect was fiddling with something after having turned squarely back at the officer, and that would certainly have been a time to shoot, as I see it.

And if this guy was dumb enough to threaten the girl and show up with the gun with witnesses, how long would she have to live (or die) under threat of him murdering her in a more private setting?

The guy could have fired a single fatal shot at any point, even as he continued fleeing (if he hadn’t been shot). It does seem that the guy is turning away just as the first shot is fired, but given his earlier threat to the girl, his fleeing and then turning and looking ready to shoot … this still seems like the right response. Otherwise they have an armed desperate guy with a gun on the loose, and not just this officer at risk.

    NavyMustang in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 25, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    “The guy could have fired a single fatal shot at any point, even as he continued fleeing (if he hadn’t been shot). It does seem that the guy is turning away just as the first shot is fired, but given his earlier threat to the girl, his fleeing and then turning and looking ready to shoot … this still seems like the right response.”

    This type of scenario was specifically addressed when I was in the academy. Armed suspect running away from you, can you shoot him in the back? As long as the cop can verbalize that the suspect was a continuing threat to him or others, then the answer is yes. As you note, MR, he could have turned quickly and fired rounds off that could easily have hit the officer or bystanders.

    Our academy instructors wanted to make sure we knew right up front that we could shoot someone running away from us. I think a lot of rookies (or even experienced officers) might hesitate with fatal results for the good guy.

    (By the way, I hit the “down” arrow on your comment by mistake. My bad.)

      Gremlin1974 in reply to NavyMustang. | January 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      Yea, as far as I am concerned once the barrel of that gun came about to where the barrel was pointed anywhere near that officer, he was completely justified.

      What it looks like happened here is the guy picked up the gun, (which was cocked and ready to fire when they collected it) and spun towards the officer that is when the decision to shoot left the cops brain and started the micro second trip to his finger. The guys spin continued but by the time he could have realized that he had decided to neutralize the threat so the trigger pull and the spin happened at basically the same time.

      Also, it looked like to me that the first round might have hit him on the left side and added to his spin.

“…shot placement was adequate to immediately neutralize the threat.”
A magnificent understatement! Bravo!

That was pretty good shooting.

    My first thought as well. Under those circumstances, even a good shooter at the range often fails.

    I participated in a “Summer Biathlon” once where we ran one mile, then shot five times prone with a 22 target rifle; ran another mile, then shot five times standing; then ran one mile. Until you try it, you don’t realize how difficult it is to keep a steady hand and shoot after you have been running.

    Well done, Officer. Well done indeed.

      Twanger in reply to Redneck Law. | January 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      100% agree.
      Many years ago I was playing no-holds-barred paint-ball with my brother. I suspected he was out of ammo and was reloading, so I rushed him. He ran and I ran after him shooting. Was probably 10 yards behind him and still missed him half a dozen times.

      I don’t think they would let us practice this scenario at the pistol range! 🙂

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    From what I have read, it looks like all 5 shots hit the guy, that is impressive, not only for the fact that the cop had been running but also for the shot speed, which was fairly rapid.

    3 hit out of 5 shots, the report I’ve seen online was 1 hit in the neck, 2 in the upper torso.
    And that was after a brisk run.
    Very good shooting indeed.

The cops patience with the moron running his mouth is amazing. I would have walked over there and billy-clubbed that idiot into silence.

    Exiliado in reply to Paul. | January 25, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    That’s what I thought.

    There’s been a shooting and the idiot interferes and refuses to walk away.
    Common sense is so uncommon!

      Samuel in reply to Exiliado. | January 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      If the perp wasn’t already neutralized this idiot’s screaming would have given him the perfect opportunity to shoot the officer. What an idiot!

    Ragspierre in reply to Paul. | January 25, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    But if you did that, you’d convert a very justified shooting into a completely unjustified use of deadly force (billy clubs are deadly weapons).

    If I have anything I’d tell officer McMillin, it would be to amp down…not up. In the situation on the tape, his very calm orders to the Rev. Whoever would have been MUCH more effective. Roaring orders just takes things to the next level, psychologically.

    “Please move BACK. That man still has a gun. We have EMTs on the way, and I have other officers who will keep you safe, and we will render aid. Nobody is going to shoot, but I can’t let you become a hostage. Move BACK, please.”

      Char Char Binks in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Sure, he had all the time in the world to explain things to a moron who was obstructing justice in the middle of a crisis.

        Ragspierre in reply to Char Char Binks. | January 25, 2015 at 4:28 pm

        Glad you agree. He did have. More than the time it would take to attack with a billy club.

          DaveGinOly in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm

          Rags, look up “body alarm response.” The officer couldn’t possibly have acted in any other way, unless he had ice water in his veins (someone just tried to shoot him, and he had very likely killed someone himself). The hero is calm after killing someone only in the movies.

          Twanger in reply to Ragspierre. | January 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm

          Rags… please look up sarcasm in the dictionary…

      NavyMustang in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Sometimes the adrenaline takes over, but you’re right, he could have ramped it down.

      I’ve found myself doing the primal scream myself in those situations where people are running towards a suspect (and which happen a lot more than most people realize).

        Ragspierre in reply to NavyMustang. | January 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm

        Right. Some of us become very clinical in these situations…some would call it “cold”.

        But there are several “after-action” observations that a good training office would emphasize…

        1. Officer McMillin kept his focus on the source of danger. Very good.

        2. the psychology of this situation would have argued for a calm, reasoned set of commands to a person who was hysterical.

        3. shifting focus to Rev. Whoever and beating him down would be the WORST of all possible responses.

        4. what would Rayland Givens do (granting that is a fictional character, he has a LOT of experience shooting people. You can insert Jeff Cooper, it that helps).

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      Rags, I rarely disagree with you, but in this situation I have to say that I think the officers response was completely understandable. Sure calmer orders might have been worked better, however, he had another possible threat within almost arms distance and a crowd of onlookers that could have contained the suspects friends.

      The guy sitting there saying “Stop shooting, just stop shooting” wasn’t the pastor, the past comes up near the end of the middle to the end of the video. To me that guy was trying to make it look like the cop was just going on a shooting spree, he was a moron to be that close unless he was offering help or checking to see if the officer was injured. He certainly wasn’t helping the situation.

      The officer was obviously amped up, which is to be expected, but he is also obviously frighted of the crowd, if you listen carefully he asks back up to hurry up when the crowd noise increases.

      So between having just been forced to shoot someone, which I bet is the first time, having a guy well inside his threat zone, facing a crowd that greatly outnumbered him, and having a suspect who even though he shot and fell down is still armed an possibly dangerous, while it may be better to be less “amped” I think it is just impracticable to expect.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 25, 2015 at 6:10 pm

        Yeah. It WAS completely understandable. And I don’t fault Officer McMillin anywhere that I know of. I DO suggest that he could have more EFFECTIVELY dealt with the situation, given more training.

        I thought he did a very good job of maintaining focus on the real threat. But he could have been MORE effective in defusing the situation if he’d been able to issue calm, rational orders.

        And, really, that is something that officers CAN be trained to do.

        But, generally, he did a VERY good job in this very stressful situation. My point is that this shooting offers some very good opportunities for training.

        Well…AND that clubbing the Rev. would be the very LAST thing that should be done.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2015 at 6:52 pm

          I can’t imagine why anyone would think that hurting the minister was justified in the first place. While I think that his actions were ill advised in the situation they are also completely understandable. I would have approached the officer as well, as I nurse I would have wanted to make sure he wasn’t injured and see if it was safe enough for me to try to render aid to the suspect if possible, which from the video I wouldn’t have been able to do because he was still armed.

          Agreed great training video, I just don’t want anyone to think the officer was wrong or out of control, yes he could have modulated his voice and it might have been more effective, I completely agree.

          CalFed in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2015 at 7:48 pm

          “I would have approached the officer as well…”

          Do yourself and everyone else a favor and DO NOT ever approach an officer who has just chased and had a deadly force encounter with an armed subject, seeking to intervene. When the officer has ascertained that the subject is no longer a threat, then you can approach.

          “yes he could have modulated his voice and it might have been more effective”

          You need to try and differentiate the reaction that YOU have, sitting behind your keyboard watching a video of a life and death confrontation happening to other people and the reaction that the actual participants to such a confrontation have. The observations that you and Rags make about what the officer should have done in the situation come off sounding like pretty cheap advice, frankly.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2015 at 8:38 pm

          @CalFed

          “Do yourself and everyone else a favor and DO NOT ever approach an officer who has just chased and had a deadly force encounter with an armed subject, seeking to intervene. When the officer has ascertained that the subject is no longer a threat, then you can approach.”

          My first suggestion would be to read my entire comment, which you obviously didn’t. My second suggestion would be to know who and what you are talking about before you offer unsolicited advice.

          First of all as a Nurse I would be well within my right and my oath to approach the officer. As a matter of fact I am required to offer aid in these situations. Also, I am an Auxiliary member of my local Sheriffs department. So forgive me if I completely ignore your ignorant suggestion.

          “yes he could have modulated his voice and it might have been more effective”

          “You need to try and differentiate the reaction that YOU have, sitting behind your keyboard watching a video of a life and death confrontation happening to other people and the reaction that the actual participants to such a confrontation have. The observations that you and Rags make about what the officer should have done in the situation come off sounding like pretty cheap advice, frankly.”

          How many use of force and “life or death” situations have you been involved in? I happen to be a fully certified psychiatric nurse, an Auxiliary Sheriff, a Concealed Weapons Permit holder and a former Army Ranger, who has been involved in life or death situations on several occasions, including ones that forced me to take a life while in the military. So I would give you your own advice for while you are sitting behind your keyboard don’t presume to know more than you do.

          If you had actually taken the time to read what Rags and I had written we were not questioning the officers reactions nor did either of us say his reaction was wrong or inappropriate. Rags suggested that a calmer tone of voice may have been more effective in gaining compliance from the man who was speaking to the officer, which is probably correct. The entire point of my making a comment was to point that the officer wasn’t wrong or inappropriate.

          So I would suggest you either improve your reading comprehension skills or refrain from making comments such as this that make you look silly.

          @Gremlin1974

          I retired a few years ago after 30 years in federal law enforcement and am not interested in getting into a pissing contest with you over experience.

          Suffice it to say that I read what you and Rags’ posted and stand by my remarks.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | January 26, 2015 at 2:14 am

          @CalFed

          Congratulations, and thank you for your service, I really do appreciate it.

          However, there is no pissing contest, you made blatantly false assertions about what Rags and I were saying. I also notice that your way of “not getting in a pissing contest” was to tout your own experience and not answer my questions.

        Char Char Binks in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 25, 2015 at 8:11 pm

        That man said he was the pastor. Whether the cop should have continued shooting or not was NOT HIS DECISION TO MAKE. Repeatedly pleading “Don’t shoot him no more!” was ridiculous, but requisite, posturing about how #BlackLivesMatter, and a racist implication that the white cop was willing to murder the poor, defenseless Skittles-eater. It also put the cop’s life in possible danger, since it was unknown at the time that the thug was dead.. The cop had his hands full with the perp, and he didn’t need any pressure or interference from a mob of angry idiots gathering around him.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Char Char Binks. | January 25, 2015 at 8:45 pm

          If you read my other comments I plainly state that the minister approaching the officer was ill advised.

          I honestly thought that he was just an attendee at the wedding and that the minister was the older gentleman seen later in the video, but I stand corrected. Thanks for clearing that up for me. 🙂

        Char Char Binks in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm

        I agree.

      Of course you’re right, and I know myself well enough to know that I could never be a police officer.

      ConradCA in reply to Ragspierre. | January 27, 2015 at 2:44 am

      The officer had to keep both eyes on the bad guy and the new guy coming in was distracting him, could have gotten in between the officer and the bad guy, could have taken the bad guy’s weapon and shot him. etc..

    “The moron running his mouth.” Do you mean the minister? He is the one who called the cops. I think he may have been a bit guilty in his own mind for possibly “causing” this shooting.

    Cut him some slack.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Redneck Law. | January 25, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      I, frankly am confuse by who is the “minister” but from what I can tell it wasn’t the “Don’t shoot no more” guy, I think the minister was the older gentleman who was speaking with the cops a few moments later describing events. I could be completely wrong on that, however.

      Also, who was the person with the suspect when the cop arrived? They didn’t appear to be trying to talk the suspect down.

      I was referring to the guy who, immediately after the shooting, kept trying to approach the cop and the guy laying there with the gun still in his hand, or nearby.

      The cop didn’t need that idiot inciting the rest of the gathering crowd into a tizzy, and he CERTAINLY didn’t need the fool to approach the guy he’d just shot who could have mustered enough energy to pop off a round before expiring. OR, the dope running his mouth could have picked up the gun himself.

      There are many ways that idiot running his mouth could have made a bad situation much worse, which is why he needed to STFU and back off post haste.

    thats the pastor that called it in and he has gone on the record fully backing the officer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zcb8Z6-QpU&feature=youtu.be

    I sent the vid to mr branca also

Is the ex-girlfriend black? Is her new husband black? The guests?

If so, the white policeman put himself in a risky situation to protect black people from harm. And that’s generally the purpose and the result when white police officers work in predominantly black neighborhoods. In other words, black lives matter to white police officers.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Radegunda. | January 25, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I think it is kind of unfair to imply that it was more dangerous because it was a black neighborhood. I know some black neighborhoods that are safer that the “white” neighborhoods I have lived in. In the town where I grew up we still had a “black” side of town and “white” side of town, I felt perfectly safe on either side of the street that divided the two area’s. I know that is not as prevalent now, but just because it is a black neighborhood doesn’t necessarily make it more dangerous.

      Radegunda in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 26, 2015 at 1:40 am

      That isn’t what I was implying at all. The situation was risky because the officer knew he was mostly likely going to face an armed person who planned to shoot people.

      ConradCA in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 27, 2015 at 2:46 am

      The logic behind his comment is that even if the officer did everything perfectly like Officer Darren Wilson did he could lose his job and life because of progressive fascist lies.

One thing I don’t understand…a local pastor (who is unlikely to be a crank caller) dials 9-1-1 and reports a guy with a gun at a large gathering. This is potentially a mass shooting, and the police dept dispatches *ONE* officer?!? We can see from the video that multiple officers were available, given how many showed up in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. Why didn’t the dispatcher send multiple backup at the start?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to capricorn. | January 25, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    The guy had made threats, I haven’t heard the 911 call, but I doubt he was reported as being armed, the officer seemed completely surprised when he discovered the gun and I think he probably wouldn’t have approached the guy so casually if he had been told he had a gun.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      Please ignore my statement above, I guess I skipped the part where the minister had told them he had a gun.

      Now I wonder if the officers casual approach was to disarm the suspect before disarming the suspect. Since the officer dropped his cuffs, I am guessing the guy ran just as he felt the officer trying to cuff him.

There are several other video’s of this incident from news reports with freeze-frames to witness statements. The church Pastor seems to waffle between a couple of statements he gave on camera, but it’s the freeze-frame reports that win the day for the heroic Officer… who has some mighty fine marksmanship skills too, I might add.

*Must Watch – Freeze-Framed news report:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEDPwXQHJUE

Pastor, etc.:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zcb8Z6-QpU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us2djCUP6Tk

The moment that pistol spilled from the fleeing suspect’s waistband during the foot pursuit, and then he actually stopped and picked it up, literally putting his hand on it and clenching it in his grasp by the pistol grip with his body turned in such a way as to certainly be able to pop off a randy shot at the pursuing Police Officer, in full unobstructed view of the pursuing Police Officer just yards away in broad daylight… he signed his own death warrant. Period. End of story.

Midwest Rhino | January 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

I’m now wondering if the officer knew that was the guy reported to have a gun, from the very start. If so, should he have had gun drawn and ordered him on the ground from the beginning? Or did he not know and was doing a basic “stop and frisk” type maneuver?

If he knew that was the threat guy and that he reportedly had a gun, he seems to be taking a big chance walking up to the guy with suspect’s hands in pockets, and officer’s gun holstered. The suspect could have turned and shot, if gun was in hand.

Looks like he knew that was the guy, and the shadow right when the guy runs looks like gun is holstered. Situational awareness I suppose.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    The article says the pastor told the 911 operator the suspect was armed. If the operator didn’t transmit that information to the officer, that would be a major breakdown in communication. It appears the officer was doing an “officer safety” pat-down, which is usually conducted when there is at least some low-level suspicion that the contact is something other than routine and safe. I agree with you, however, that if the officer knew the suspect had been reported as “armed,” he should have had him on the ground at gun point immediately. Maybe he was trying to be sensitive to the black audience he had watching him? If so, that sensitivity got a brother killed.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to DaveGinOly. | January 25, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      It is absolutely a major breach of protocol, however it does happen. I frankly have a huge suspicion that the officer wasn’t told the suspect was armed, or that he missed that part of the transmission, which is just as likely.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to DaveGinOly. | January 25, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      well the officer certainly knew he was there about an armed man, and it appears he already had this guy pointed out (maybe). Perhaps he was concerned the woman next to the suspect was the one being threatened, and so didn’t want to alarm the guy too much with a drawn gun. But if he knew it was the guy, just seems he’d have his gun out and immediately, from a distance, tell him to get on the ground.

      But didn’t a recent study find cops are actually more sensitive toward shooting blacks than whites now, perhaps because of all the pressure from above? The stupid guy was close to surviving his actions, till he ran … then decided to pick up the dropped gun. I guess he was really proud of that gun.

I watched the video but could not tell that the perp was reaching for a gun while running away. It would seem that had the cop not pursued him that he had all the information that he needed to arrest him later. There were witnesses that saw him with a gun and the threats were known by many so an arrest would have been a no brainer as well as the conviction. I am not a big defender of shooting in the back unless the perp is running with gun in hand threatening others. I don’t have all of the info so I am only speculating which is not a good thing to do. This is going to be more ammo for the swine Sharpton to use against the cops.

    Your comment is a perfect example of why people being addressed by a police officer should comply with the officer’s instructions. As is evident from the footage, the reaction time is mere milliseconds! As a previous commenter noted, the perp could have turned round and shot either the cop or a bystander and caused irreparable damage.

    “It would seem that had the cop not pursued him that he had all the information that he needed to arrest him later.”

    You mean later, as in after he had taken that gun and killed somebody later?

    The video doesn’t capture exactly what the officer was seeing. The human eye tracks w/o the bouncing up and down that the camera was doing. Neither does it reveal what the officer’s eyes were focused on.

    “I don’t have all of the info so I am only speculating which is not a good thing to do.

    You know it’s not a good thing to do, but you’ll do it anyway.

    Char Char Binks in reply to inspectorudy. | January 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    The perp had a loaded, cocked gun. I’d like to see you just let someone like that just run. Then I’d like to see you get shot.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to inspectorudy. | January 25, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Ok, lets just use the information that is in this article. You think that the cop should have let the armed suspect, who had already threatened to kill someone and had resisted arrest, just run away?

    Perhaps you believe he should have used a nursery rhyme to help calm the poor young man before trying to cuff him?

    Also, the cop didn’t begin firing until the suspect had reached down and grabbed the gun and spun in his direction. The only reason any shots hit the man in the back was because his spin continued, not because the officer intended to shoot him in the back.

    It is also worth pointing out that in some places, since the cop knew the suspect was armed, had threatened to kill someone, and had resisted arrest, the officer would have been completely justified in shooting the suspect in the back to stop his flight.

    The young man made his decision when he stopped to pick up that gun, if he had just left it there he would still be alive, right now.

    ConradCA in reply to inspectorudy. | January 27, 2015 at 2:55 am

    “It would seem that had the cop not pursued him that he had all the information that he needed to arrest him later.”

    So the Officer doesn’t pursue and attempt to arrest the bad guy, but the bad guy runs into the bushes and fires at the Officer from a hidden position. The Officer dies. Not a very good result. Things worked out pretty good for everyone with the criminal dead.

CaliforniaJimbo | January 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

I am glad that I do not have to worry about life or death situations in my daily job. (Mind you, I have had some show directors tell me “you are killing me!!”) A LEO has seconds or less to decided upon a course of action that can result in his or her death or the death of others. I am willing to go out on a limb and say when faced with a life or death situation, I cannot imagine any LEO thinking about the racial background of the suspect nor their orientation. I bet the LEO is thinking “Does this person have a gun?” “Who is in danger if I fail to act”. Unfortunately, now the LEO must consider “will I be sued if I make the wrong decision”. I’d rather make a wrong decision rather than not make a decision at all.

so, the perp made terroristic threats to murder, shows up with a loaded (and later cocked) gun. Good shoot. It’s also good that he tripped over his pants around his asscheecks.

So at 1:04, did the suspect try to clock the officer?

In any event, it certainly seemed to be a justified *police* shooting. If a civilian had done exactly the same as the officer, he would be in a *heap* of trouble, BUT the police have (quite properly) different rules for the use of force in such situations.

    platypus in reply to georgfelis. | January 25, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Mr. Branca can correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the rules are the same for everybody. If there’s any difference, it’s in how those rules are applied. No private person under these facts should be held to answer charges. First piece of exculpatory evidence – bad guy who threatened had a firearm.

      A police officer has the option, perhaps even duty, to pursue.

      A private citizen does not (except in a very few jurisdictions, and then only if necessary for their safety, which would not apply to this scenario).

      In most cases, pursuit by a private citizen will result in his fleeing “attacker” becoming the “victim” in what’s legally a second fight, and he becoming the “aggressor” and unable to justify his subsequent use of force as self-defense.

      In contrast, the newly designated “victim” will have recovered his innocence by fleeing (again, in most jurisdictions) and WILL be able to justify HIS subsequent use of force as self-defense, assuming that use of force meets the usual conditions for self-defense.)

      That is not, of course, an outcome that a sworn LEO need concern himself with. He’s PAID to pursue, and absent an egregious use of excessive force it is unlawful for a suspect to use ANY force to resist a lawful arrest (again, in most jurisdictions).

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Andrew, one think I haven’t seen remarks about yet: apparently the officer picked up the perp’s gun from where it was found (or placed by another officer) next to the body.

        Shouldn’t they have left the weapon where it was found? I thought no part of a shooting was supposed to be touched?

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Casey. | January 26, 2015 at 2:17 am

          “(or placed by another officer) next to the body.”

          Seriously, you are implying that the weapon that was by the suspect was placed there by the cops, LMAO.

          Security of the scene comes first.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          you want to be the ems crew working the body with a cocked weapon attached to it?
          secure the scene is what we were taught and that includes reducing all threats.
          and that weapon where it was HAS to be considered a threat.
          you notice the office only moved it a slight distance and pointed it out to others AND it was on camera as it was done.
          scene secured.

          ConradCA in reply to Casey. | January 27, 2015 at 2:59 am

          They weren’t positive that the bad guy was dead. They needed to make sure if a miracle happened and he woke up the gun would be out of reach. The important thing is that another officer watched while the gun was picked up and thrown to the side.

          Casey in reply to Casey. | January 27, 2015 at 12:11 pm

          Can’t reply to the replies, so here.

          Gremlin, that was not what I was implying. Please excuse my poor phrasing.

          I think Andrew and dmacleo answered my question quite nicely. Thanks to both.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Casey. | January 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm

          @Casey

          I didn’t really think think that is what you meant, but you never know on here, lol.

While the video is a bit unclear, not much doubt about the situation. Known bad guy, armed and has made a threat, runs, stops and at least appears to be preparing to fire. Good guy shoots (remarkable shooting) and bad guy goes down. This is the way it is supposed to work in my opinion.

Char Char Binks | January 25, 2015 at 4:30 pm

The pastor should be arrested for obstruction of justice. He’s lucky he didn’t get shot.

    NavyMustang in reply to Char Char Binks. | January 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Even though the officer was screaming like a banshee at the pastor, his shooting showed him to be in solid control of himself. In the video I saw, I don’t see the pastor getting shot. And he definitely won’t get arrested for the actions I saw. As I mentioned above, stuff like that happens often where people want to run to their friends et al after they been stopped with force (not necessarily lethal). It’s hard stuff to see.

      Ragspierre in reply to NavyMustang. | January 25, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Right again. Rev. Whoever would never be convicted for following his very human drive to render aid. A good training officer will use this video to teach officers what they can expect to encounter, and how best to react. People DO become hysterical in an instant in a situation involving violence and grave injury. Officers need to be equipped by training to understand the dynamics and how to defuse them.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | January 27, 2015 at 3:16 am

        Especially since he was the one who called the cops, as someone pointed out above he may have felt partially responsible for the young mans death. Even though he really shouldn’t, I would understand if he did.

        The minister has also gone out of his way to back the cop and to keep stuff like what happened in Ferguson from even getting a foothold. I applaud him for that.

    Char Char, as I posted earlier, give the Rev some slack. He was the one who called the police and he was the one who told dispatch that the guest had a gun and threatened to kill the bride. He may have been a bit distraught thinking that it was his fault that the 21 year old is dead.

      Char Char Binks in reply to Redneck Law. | January 25, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Your reasons for giving “the Rev” slack are the very things that incriminate him. He KNEW the perp had a gun and had threatened the bride, yet he interfered with the officer in a very tense, life-or-death situation. Every split-second he diverted the cops attention was a split-second the perp might have shot back, and he wouldn’t have aimed at the pastor. His interference delayed any possible first aid the cop might have rendered. His continuous pleading of “Don’t shoot him no more!” was asinine posturing about black lives mattering, and racist insinuation of the white cop’s willingness to shoot a man needlessly. I will not cut him any slack. If he didn’t need a man with a gun to handle the situation, he shouldn’t have called a gunman to the scene, which is what he did when he dialed 911.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Char Char Binks. | January 25, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    The black pastor for a Christian church felt confidant calling the police, rather than fearing the police, as de Blasio allegedly fears for his son’s life when cops are around. He should have gotten back but did keep a “measured” distance, and the “action” was over. Good to see a black Christian church with a good crowd.

    Maybe we can do like Obama does and blame society for this young man’s death. But not white society, nor black church society. But blame the Obama culture of hate towards traditional America … mistrust of cops, Obama’s path to being a tough black man, with the Trayvon/Brown gangster attitude.

    Obama says “get in their faces” or to Latinos “punish your enemies and reward your friends” or “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”. Obama pushes confrontation against traditional America, including the cops.

    What if Obama/Holder/Sharpton used Ferguson to preach a message of trust/respect for the police? Hands up, listen, cooperate, you won’t get shot. But the Obama message has consistently been that cops will gun down black men … so fear/hate them. Obama convinced the kid … “when this cop finds that gun, he’ll shoot me in the back of the head … I better run”. Obama hate speech killed this kid (to use their rationale).

Guy could have run better if he’d have had his pants pulled up. 2nd video I’ve seen in a year of a guy getting shot because he couldn’t run due to his pants being down around his thighs.

    Char Char Binks in reply to Sheep. | January 25, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    He was pretty quick for a sagger, but I’m glad he made his final sag, and right into the ditch where he belongs.

Wait, Saggy-pants thug had his gun fall out while running away? Will these thugs never learn? Get a belt and a holster! And your belt doesn’t go around your thighs.

    Oh noes thaz not possible!
    Any gangsta worth his collaz hasta wear his saggy’s that a wayz!
    An any roscoe mus’ be stuck inna pants. No self repeckin gangsta be wearin a holsta!

    Saggy pants and ‘mexican carry’ for their guns? Good! Better chance for the good guys to win in a gunfight.

If you are going to try to outrun a cop or a speeding bullet- you will stand a better chance if you pull your damn pants up first

Note: Many 911 calls involve people outright lying about the bad guy having a gun, or implying it, in the stupid belief the police will come faster. Were I an officer first on scene, I’d assume it on just about every call.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 26, 2015 at 11:06 am

    See also “Swatting”.

    BUT I think there are some calls that contextually involve much more reliability of a reported gun. This is one.

    You, and any other reasonable person would assume it as well. And you’d do well to assume that there’s a weapon of some sort around on any and every call.

    You did notice that the first thing the police officer did was tell the guy to show his hands, especially the one stuck in his right jacket pocket?

      Twanger in reply to Miles. | January 26, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      I must be amping up my SA, because every time I see anyone walking around with their hands in their pockets I give them a second look. If they are in a warm location like a store, they get a third look. On the flip side of that, I’m becoming more aware of when it is and when it is not appropriate to have my hands in my pockets. For example, one would be foolish to approach a policed officer that way.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 27, 2015 at 3:19 am

    You would assume what? That someone had lied about there being a gun. That is exactly the wrong way to handle it, you should take the report at face value and if the call says there is a gun don’t just assume there is believe there is with every fiber of your being.

    Even when there isn’t report of a gun, you should still be cautious of weapons, a knife in the right hands can be just as deadly.

RE: Shooting skill. Not at all to take away from some very good shooting, but it is a little easier when the target is running directly away from or directly towards you, as opposed to running peperndic.. perpencidu… crossways to you. I’m talking about the mechanics of it, not the psych and/or adrenaline aspects. The running target gets smaller or bigger but it stays in the same place in front of you. Anyway, when I do my yearly CCP ‘combat for old f**kers’ training, I find it this way. (Paper targets – can’t use real people for training targets anymore in NC).

RE: The moron trying to intercede in the middle of the actual shooting…. holy f**k. He’s why I can’t be a cop. Not for long, anyway. I don’t think the officer should have clubbed him at the time. I do think, however, that the officer should wait till the media attention dies down and his department finishes their investigation and (likely) clears him. Then the officer should locate that moron at leisure and beat the shit out of him just because. Illegal? Yes. Wrong? NO.

Via this video, we see how disobedient, intrusive bystanders can get in the way to everyone’s greater risk, especially the officer’s. Most shootings are not recorded, let alone with such a clear video. There’s no telling how many officers have been killed because of distractions like the moron causes in this video. A dead officer can’t testify to it.

“… following the suspect pointing a pistol at the officer.” I watched the video and did not see this happen. I saw him drop something face at 30 degree sideways angle to officer. He sees that the object he dropped slid forward so turns away from officer. I saw the suspect pick up the object he accidentally dropped while facing sideways(but 30 degrees away from the officer at that point). I see side of his face for like one frame as he is running away but then he continues fleeing with his back to the officer. All shots were clearly by the officer as the suspect was fleeing into his back. This was not a self defense shooting as far as I can tell.

    Did the suspect not reach to pick an object up off the ground, turn to the officer, and ultimately the pistol was found behind him?

    I suggest the object was a pistol, that holding a pistol in your hand while turning to face an officer pursuing you is sufficient grounds for that officer to engage you with fire.

    If you have an alternative explanation that fits those facts, I’m open to hearing them. But any alternative explanation would have to address:

    If the suspect didn’t drop a gun, what exactly DID he drop that would induce him to take the time to pick it up while being pursued by an officer he was fleeing?

    If the suspect didn’t pick up the dropped gun, how did the gun end up beside him, further up the road?

    Or are you under the impression that the police officer must wait until an armed, non-compliant, murder-threatening suspect turns full-face to the officer before the officer can engage him with fire?

    –Andrew

      BrianMacker in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 28, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      “Did the suspect not reach to pick an object up off the ground, turn to the officer, and ultimately the pistol was found behind him?”

      No he turn 45 degrees to the officer first. Then turned away and picked up the object. He was clearly fleeing when shot.

      “I suggest the object was a pistol, that holding a pistol in your hand while turning to face an officer pursuing you is sufficient grounds for that officer to engage you with fire.”

      The object (if a gun) was on the ground when he was angled at the officer. He was angled away from the officer when he picked it up. The then turned full away as he ran. He briefly looked to the left while holding the gun but his body was still facing away. At no point after picking up the gun did he look straight back.

      I’m not sure why you are arguing because in another comment here you admitted this wasn’t self defense. Which was all I claimed. I didn’t claim that the officer had no right to shoot. I’m just saying what I saw in the video. Had the officer stopped his pursuit then the guy would have just run away.

      Of course, later he might have made himself a threat again to someone else. Which causes interesting questions to arise about whether self defense should include the likelihood your attacker will return, sneak up on you, and get you the next time. Should that be factored in. In a state of nature (outside of society) it would be very reasonable to kill someone fleeing who had just attempted murder.

        An suspect fleeing with gun in hand who has imminently threatened innocent life is wholly subject to being lawfully shot by pursuing police. Not only isn’t there any law against it, it’s the cop’s duty to stop that fleeing imminent threat.

        If you know law to the contrary, feel free to bring it to my attention.

        As for your second point, I don’t recall saying this wasn’t self-defense (I believe it was), but in any case the point is irrelevant. The police are NOT restricted to using deadly force ONLY for purposes of self-defense. An imminent deadly threat to ANY innocent is subject to deadly force from law enforcement, and Walker clearly meets that standard.

        Again, if you know law to the contrary, feel free to bring it to my attention.

        Had Walker dropped the gun and fled, different fact pattern, perhaps.

        But he didn’t.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Gremlin1974 in reply to BrianMacker. | January 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I would also add to what Andrew wrote above.

    Even if he didn’t “face full on”, do you not think that the man couldn’t have taken a shot at 30 degrees? I shoot cross body all the time.

    Also, just because I saw a comment about this on another site about the man “carrying the gun legally”, as laughable as that is, it would be impossible for him to be carrying legally because he had been threatening harm to others. Also, as a general rule innocent people don’t run.

    Also, Brian you have to remember that Police, just like with civilians, the man didn’t actually have to have a gun at all. The man had been threatening to shoot people, he violently pushed off of the Officer, and he ran away. He dropped something and picked it up and was in a position to take a shot at the officer, that more than constitutes a “reasonable fear”, which is all that is necessary.

    Take a more simple situation. I am out with a friend and someone comes up to me, empty handed, and demands my wallet or he is gonna shoot us.

    I say that I am not gonna give up my wallet and start backing up, then he starts to reach behind him.

    Now, I don’t know if he really has a gun or not, but the minute he starts to reach behind him…well at that point we are gonna see who is faster.

    In that situation I have not seen a gun, but my fear would be reasonable and I would most likely be justified in defending myself with deadly force.

    The fact of the matter is that even if the man didn’t have a gun the cop would have still most likely been justified, especially with the threats and fleeing.

      BrianMacker in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 28, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      “Even if he didn’t “face full on”, do you not think that the man couldn’t have taken a shot at 30 degrees? I shoot cross body all the time.”

      But we already know the suspect didn’t do that. The suspect didn’t stay in that position but a second. He had already started running away again, about four steps when the cop shot him.

      “Also, as a general rule innocent people don’t run.”
      Did I claim he was innocent? No.

      “The man had been threatening to shoot people, he violently pushed off of the Officer, and he ran away.”

      I didn’t claim the officer had no right to shoot him. You can shoot fleeing felons, etc. I was just pointing out this was not self defense in my opinion, based on what I can see in a grainy video.

      “…well at that point we are gonna see who is faster.”

      Your example is of self defense. This was not self defense. As Andrew already admitted in another comment.

        Well, now you’re just being silly.

        “The suspect didn’t stay in that position but a second.”

        I routinely fire six rounds in a second.

        You suggest a cop should subject himself to THAT risk before he can engage an armed, death-threatening, non-compliant suspect?

        Silly. 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          BrianMacker in reply to Andrew Branca. | January 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm

          Andrew, I think you are the one being silly. That moment it time was over by the time the officer shot at him. Unless you think the suspect also was carrying a time machine on him then he was in no position to shoot the officer when he got shot. He had his back to the officer. All the bullets will be in his back.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to BrianMacker. | January 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm

        Ok, now I understand what you are saying, however, I would invite you to consider that the “deadly encounter” doesn’t start when the officer pulls the trigger. It actually starts with whatever happens to prompt the officer to pull the trigger.

        From what I can tell according to law, and Andrew please correct me if I am wrong, the use of deadly force whether by police or a civilian is always considered a deliberate and conscious action. It can’t happen accidentally, its a choice.

        Conscious choices take longer to process than instinctual reactions, even those that have practiced for years are only nearly instinctual and much faster than most, but those people are fairly few in number. Most police do not fall into that category, they just don’t typically shoot that often, even for practice.

        What I think you are seeing in the video is the lag between the conscious decision to shoot and the actual trigger pull. Here is what I see when I watch the video, including the slo-mo ones.

        Suspect drops what appears to be/or reasonably could be a weapon.

        Suspect spins to pick up dropped weapon and scoops up weapon.

        Seeing this the Officer has a reasonable fear that the Suspect is going to continue the spin and engage him.

        Officer makes decision that he has no choice but to employ deadly force.

        The two things happen at about the same time. The suspect reverses his spin to continue running and the officer starts to pull the trigger.

        Next series at about the same time. Suspect begins to move away from officer and first shot goes off, yes probably while the suspects back is turned. Then the 4 following shots and aftermath. That totals about 1 to 2 seconds.

        So see the difference is that it isn’t that the first shot went off while the Suspects back is turned because because the “reasonable fear” and decision actually happened about a second before that shot.

        I think the officer saw the spin and reasonably thought that the Suspect was going to scoop up the gun and turn to engage, a fear that is completely reasonable and that is when he made the decision to shoot, that’s why I think it was self defense.

        Remember the reason that he fired is just as important as when and if he fired.

          BrianMacker in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

          Gremlin, OK, I’ll buy that argument. That he made a judgement call that was reasonable at the time of the decision and he was not able to get feedback in time to see that the guy was going to continue to run. So in that sense it was self defense (given that officers have a right to persue).

          BrianMacker in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 29, 2015 at 2:46 pm

          Pursue no persue.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm

          @BrianMacker

          “(given that officers have a right to persue)”

          Oh, absolutely that is a critical piece of this, for a civilian 99% of the time this could not have been self defense because of the pursuit. Even if I was in the few areas where you can pursue, I don’t think it makes sense to do so, barring extreme circumstances.

          Frankly, I am with the cop, why did he stop for the gun? If you notice the distance between him in the cop and how fast is opened if he had just kept running I would give him the odds of just flat outrunning the cop, especially if he had started evading instead of just running down the road. I don’t believe that cop would have shot just to stop him.

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