The revelation of a body camera video in a deadly officer-involved shooting has resulted in a federal lawsuit filed by a dead man’s widow.
On April 13, 2017, Michael Dial—driving a 1976 pickup truck and hauling a trailer with a suspended license—refused to pull over for Tenn. police. According to a report by The Guardian, the driver engaged DeKalb County law enforcement in a low-speed chase not exceeding 50mph.
Once the chase entered White County, Sheriff Oddie Shoupe ordered deputies on the scene to stop Dial by any means necessary, including deadly force.
Dashcam video obtained by NewsChannel 5 Nashville shows Reserve Deputy Adam West executing a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver to turn Dial’s vehicle sideways and ultimately run his truck off the road. Deputy West then approached Dial on foot and opened fire, as did Officer Charlie Simms. Dial was struck in the head and died.
However, a body cam video has prompted Robyn Dial, wife of the late Mr. Dial, to file a federal lawsuit alleging that excessive force was used in the death of her husband, who was not armed at the time he was shot.
Mrs. Dial told the local news network, “I feel with every part of me that that’s exactly what they wanted to do, was kill him.”
“They could have let him ten more miles down the road, he probably would have run out of gas,” she added. I just hope he knows I loved him.”
In the body cam video made available by NewsChannel 5, Sheriff Shoupe, who was not involved in the chase itself, can be heard discussing the events with another officer. He was unaware that a bodycam was recording.
Reflecting on his orders, Shoupe recalls he had told deputies, “Don’t ram him, shoot him.”
He then adds, “F*** that sh**. Ain’t gonna tear my cars up. If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherf*****, they’re full of sh**. Take him out.”
“I love this sh**,” Shoupe can also be heard saying. “God, I tell you what—I thrive on it.”
In an interview with NewsChannel 5, Mrs. Dial’s attorney David Weissman said, “I don’t know how you can thrive on taking a human life. That’s not law enforcement.”
The lawsuit states that “the decision to order the use of deadly force when not physically present to evaluate the situation speaks volumes as to the malicious and sadistic mindset of Sheriff Shoupe.”
The sheriff’s office has not commented on these recent developments.
[Feature Photo: Sheriff Oddie Shoupe/White County Sheriff’s Office]