Friday, February 9, 2018

Tennessee sheriff gets off on killing

Ordinarily, if you tell someone to shoot someone else - and they do - you're going to find yourself in hot water. But Sheriff Oddie Shoupe of White County (you can't make up this stuff), Tennessee is no ordinary person.

You see, Sheriff Shoupe was recorded telling officers to shoot a motorist rather than risk damaging police vehicles to run him off the road. The motorist, Michael Dial, was shot and killed by a deputy after his car ran into a ditch following a chase that rarely topped speeds of 50 mph.

“I love this shit,” Shoupe said, apparently unaware that his comments were being picked up by another deputy’s body-worn camera. “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,” he added, laughing. “Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county,” he said.

Now Sheriff Shoupe is on the wrong end of a federal lawsuit alleging that his department violated Mr. Dial's civil rights and that Mr. Dial was the victim of excessive force.

The most shocking thing about this episode isn't that the sheriff said what he said, but that he was dumb enough to say it when his voice was being recorded. And just so there is no misunderstanding, Mr. Dial was pulled over for a traffic violation  - that's it. He was executed for committing a traffic violation.

Now whether you want to argue that Mr. Dial brought this upon himself by driving away from the scene is up to you. The point remains that he was gunned down for a traffic violation because the sheriff didn't want to scratch the paint on a patrol car. You may be a law and order type who doesn't think the Blue Lives Matter movement isn't a polite cover for racism, but there is nothing that Mr. Dial did that deserved the death penalty.

Now the files of every police shooting under Sheriff Shoupe need to be opened up and examined to determine if there is a pattern of this type of behavior in White County. Every officer involved shooting should now be suspect.

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