Police brutality is commonplace these days, and yet still it has the capacity to shock—such as in this video from Tennessee.
Recently released video, courtesy NewsChannel 5/WTVF, showed Sheriff Oddie Shoupe’s role in the fatal shooting of Michael Dial.
In particular, the body cam footage revealed a shocking truth: Sherrif Shoupe ordering his officers not to ram Dial’s vehicle, but rather to shoot to kill. This despite the facts that a) it was a low-speed chase, and b) Dial, who was being asked to pull over for driving with a suspended license, wasn’t armed inside his 1976 pickup truck.
Bits of audio make it clear that Shoupe didn’t care for Dial’s life. “Damn, I don’t give a shit,” Shoupe says at one point. “I told ’em. I said take him out.”
It remains to be seen if there will be any justice for Dial’s family, but his widow, Robyn, is suing White County, Sheriff Oddie Shoupe, Sparta Officer Charlie Simms, and Reserve Deputy Adam West for excessive force.
As the lawsuit notes, Sherrif Shoupe “preferred to shoot and kill Mr. Dial rather than risk damaging his patrol cars.”
Consider the following pieces of audio from the tape.
Sheriff Shoupe said, at various points:
“Don’t ram him, shoot him.”
“Fuck that shit. Ain’t gonna tear up my cars.”
“If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherfucker they’re full of shit…I love this shit. God, I tell you what, I thrive on it.”
What will it take to end such police brutality? Is there any reason to hope, even with video, that Dial’s widow might get justice?
We should warn you, the video below is hard to watch. Even having read bits of transcript ahead of time, I’ll readily admit I felt rather sick watching it. You can hear Shoupe laughing, saying “I thrive on it,” as he laughs.
Multiple officers unload their weapons after they run Dial off the road. According to the District Attorney in White County, however, the shooting was “justified.”
Watch the full video below:
And yet, if Dial had been black, do you really think this video ever would have made it out? Do you think the news station—based out of Nashville—would have aired the video if it were a black man?
But I suppose we should be glad they aired it all. That conversations about police brutality are finally, maybe making some headway. And that there might even be a sliver of hope for Robyn Dial that there may yet be some justice in her husband’s murder.