A Tennessee Sheriff Ordered His Deputies To Shoot An Unarmed Man Rather Than Continue A Car Chase

A Tennessee sheriff has been sued by the widow of a fleeing driver who was fatally shot by deputies during a chase. In the above dashcam footage (broadcast by Nashville’s News Channel 5), a dispatcher can be heard telling deputies that White County Sheriff Oddie Shoupe has authorized them to use deadly force on suspect Michael Dial with further instructions: “Do not ram the suspect. If you need to, get out and use your shotguns and end this pursuit.” That is to say, Shoupe was ordering them to shoot Dial rather than ram the suspect and risk vehicle damage.

According to The Guardian, Shoupe was also recorded (after the chase) by an officer’s bodycam (this footage was included within lawsuit documents) while acknowledging that he gave these orders. Shoupe also reportedly added, “I love this sh*t” while laughing about the deadly incident:

“They said ‘we’re ramming himI said, ‘Don’t ram him, shoot him.’ F*** that sh*t. Ain’t gonna tear up my cars. I love this sh*t. God, I tell you what, I thrive on it … If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherf***er they’re full of sh*t … Take him out.”

At the end of the chase, which lasted several minutes, DIal was nudged off the highway, where Reserve Deputy Adam West fired three shots (including a fatal gunshot to the head) while Dial’s vehicle continued moving toward a ditch. Dial’s widow alleges that the deputies used excessive force, and her lawsuit further claims that “it was not only inappropriate but also unconscionable” for Shoupe to issue the deadly force order. She says that these instructions function as proof that Shoupe held a “malicious and sadistic mindset.”

(Via News Channel 5 & The Guardian)