Officer shows ‘great restraint’ not shooting charging suspect, chief says
(CNN)Police shootings stoke controversy as the public dissects the details of each incident and decides whether the use of force was unwarranted or if the officer acted in self-defense in the face of a truly dangerous criminal.
This isn’t one of those cases.
On Thursday, Officer Jesse Kidder could have opened fire on a man in New Richmond, Ohio, and likely would never have heard a breath of the protest that followed the shootings of Eric Harris and Walter Scott.
What might have been a “suicide by cop” ended in the suspect’s arrest and booking, thanks to what Kidder’s colleagues say was his “great restraint.”
If there were a checklist for when it’s OK to shoot a suspect, Kidder could have ticked most of the boxes.
Double homicide suspect, check.
Possibly armed, check.
Verbally threatening police, check.
Refusing to remove hands from pockets, check.
Charging at an officer, check.
“Law enforcement officers all across the nation deal with split-second decisions that mean life or death. I wanted to be absolutely sure before I used deadly force,” Kidder told CNN affiliate WLWT.
In the incident, caught on Kidder’s body camera, the officer gets out of his car, his gun trained on the suspect, a man police have identified as Michael Wilcox, who had allegedly killed his fiancee and best friend before leading police on a multi-county chase through Kentucky and Ohio.
Wilcox allegedly killed his fiance in Ohio sometime between noon and 6:30 p.m. that day
The video demonstrates that if Kidder had felt compelled to shoot the suspect, he would’ve been justified, Police Chief Randy Harvey told WLWT, adding that he hopes to find funding to outfit all of his officers with body cameras.
“For him to make the judgment call that he did shows great restraint and maturity,” the chief said
Question: Would this have ended differently if the man was of different race?
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