Ohio Officer Demonstrates How To Avoid Using Deadly Force (VIDEO)

by NICOLE FLATOW –

KidderBodyCam2

             CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM JESSE KIDDER’S BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE

A man suspected of killing his fiancee and his best friend told Officer Jesse Kidder repeatedly to “shoot me” as he ran toward him on an Elsmere, Kentucky, street. But Kidder didn’t shoot.

Kidder told suspect Michael Wilcox, “I don’t want to shoot you,” and “I’m not gonna do it,” as Wilcox jumped out of his car during a car chase and ignored Kidder’s commands to put his hands up and “stop right there.”

Toward the end of the exchange, Wilcox even knocked Kidder to the ground and reportedly said “shoot me or I’ll shoot you.” But back-up arrived in time, Wilcox surrendered, and Kidder never fired a shot.

Kidder, a 27-year-old Marine veteran who has been a police officer for just a year, captured the incident on video, and is now being held out as an example of how to refrain from using deadly force.

Kidder is an officer in New Richmond, Ohio, who was pursuing Wilcox in Kentucky, where he was suspected to have traveled to kill his friend. As Kidder followed Wilcox, dispatchers even told Kidder that Wilcox might threaten suicide by cop, and might have a gun under his seat. The law typically permits officers to use deadly force when they reasonably fear an imminent threat to their own lives or those of others.

But Kidder told WLWT in Cincinnati that he used his own judgment to avoid shooting for as long as possible, by watching Wilcox’s arm during the entire exchange as he held his hands to his side and then placed one in his pocket.

“Law enforcement officers all across the nation have to deal with split-second decisions that mean life or death,” Kidder told WLWT. “I wanted to be absolutely sure before I used deadly force.”

In fact, Kidder was not wearing a body camera supplied by the New Richmond police department. Instead, he equipped himself with his own body camera given to him by a relative after recent events in Ferguson.

Watch the video:

 

Reprinted with permission from Think Progress, a branch of The Center for American Progress