US cop praised for re­straint, re­fused to shoot sus­pect

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

An Ohio po­lice of­fi­cer is be­ing praised for hold­ing his fire even as a slay­ing sus­pect charged him, say­ing re­peat­edly, “shoot me.”

WLWT-TV in Cincin­nati re­ported that the tense mo­ments were cap­tured Thurs­day on a body cam­era worn by New Rich­mond of­fi­cer Jesse Kid­der.

The video shows Kid­der re­peat­edly backpedal­ing and telling 27- year- old Michael Wil­cox he doesn’t want to shoot him.

“Law en­force­ment of­fi­cers

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

Kid­der’s dis­play of re­straint comes at a time of in­tense scru­tiny of po­lice tac­tics. The killings of two un­armed black men by white po­lice of­fi­cers in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, and New York City touched off protests and a na­tional de­bate over po­lice con­duct that in­ten­si­fied af­ter grand ju­ries de­clined to in­dict the of­fi­cers.

Ear­lier this month, an un­armed black man was shot and killed by a white po­lice of­fi­cer in North Charleston, South Carolina. The of­fi­cer was charged with mur­der and has been fired by the North Charleston Po­lice Depart­ment.

In Tulsa, Ok­la­homa, a 73-yearold vol­un­teer deputy, who is white, faces man­slaugh­ter charges af­ter be­ing ac­cused of shoot­ing a black man to death while the sus­pect was be­ing held down by other of­fi­cers. The vol­un­teer deputy said he shot the sus­pect af­ter mis­tak­enly grab­bing his hand­gun in­stead of his Taser stun gun.

In Ohio, the New Rich­mond Po­lice Depart­ment web­site said Kid­der had been sworn in to join the vil­lage po­lice force a year ago, af­ter serv­ing in Iraq as a Marine. One year later, he found him­self fac­ing his tough­est po­lice chal­lenge so far. Kid­der said dis­patch­ers warned him Wil­cox could try to force a “sui­cide by cop.”

‘Great ma­tu­rity’

“He jumped out and he sprint- ed to­ward me. I had my firearm al­ready drawn ... and I told him to put his hands up in the air and he was scream­ing ... ‘ Shoot me! Shoot me!’”

Kid­der said he watched Wil­cox’s hands and didn’t be­lieve he was go­ing to shoot at him, so he kept yelling back to Wil­cox that he didn’t want to shoot him. Backup of­fi­cers ar­rived and Wil­cox sur­ren­dered.

“For him to make the judg­ment call that he did shows great re­straint and ma­tu­rity,” New Rich­mond Po­lice Har­vey said.

“This video footage, it elim­i­nated all doubt that this of­fi­cer would have been jus­ti­fied if in fact it came to a shoot­ing.”

Wil­cox is charged with the fa­tal shoot­ing of his 25- yearold girl­friend, Court­ney Fowler, and is a per­son of in­ter­est in a Ken­tucky slay­ing. Au­thor­i­ties say he had a vi­o­lent en­counter with Brown County in­ves­ti­ga­tors who tried to ar­rest him be­fore he drove off and headed west to-

Chief Randy ward Cincin­nati.

Kid­der said a rel­a­tive gave him the body cam­era fol­low­ing the deadly of­fi­cer- in­volved shoot­ing last year in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri. Har­vey said he hopes to get fund­ing to buy more for the depart­ment in the vil­lage some 20 miles ( 32 kilo­me­ters) southeast of Cincin­nati.

Wil­cox was be­ing held Satur­day in Brown County Jail on US$ 2 mil­lion ( NT$ 62.10 mil­lion) bond. No at­tor­ney in­for­ma­tion was avail­able.

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