In yet another instance of power abuse by law enforcement, a Tennessee sheriff was caught on tape bragging about ordering his officers to kill an unarmed man.
White County Sheriff Oddie Shoupe’s conversation with a deputy was recorded on a body-cam.
During a chase, Michael Dial refused to stop his vehicle, a 1976 pickup truck, when officers attempted to pull him over because he was apparently driving with a suspended license.
“They said, ‘We’re ramming him,’” Shoupe can be heard saying in the body-cam footage. “I said, ‘Don’t ram him, shoot him.’ Fuck that shit. Ain’t gonna tear up my cars.”
“I love this shit,” the sheriff continued, seemingly unaware his exchange was being recorded by another deputy’s body 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 went on, while cheering the unarmed man’s death. “Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county,” he said.
Robyn Dial, the victim’s wife, is now suing the sheriff along with Reserve Deputy Adam West and Sparta Officer Charlie Simms for excessive use of force on her late husband, who wasn’t even armed.
“It was not only inappropriate but also unconscionable for Defendant Shoupe to give the order to use deadly force,” a federal lawsuit states, referring to the sheriff’s decision proof of a “malicious and sadistic mindset”.
Sheriff Shoupe “preferred to shoot and kill Mr. Dial rather than risk damaging his patrol cars,” the lawsuit charges.
The disturbing incident was caught on camera. However, many officers have walked away scot-free after using excessive force against mostly unarmed people.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Allex Gallardo