Police in Iowa released dashcam footage showing a pair of officers pursuing a car that ended up losing control – prompting the officers to run in front of the car and open fire.
And that, of course, made the shooting justifiable because the fact that they ran in front of the car allowed them to claim they were in fear for their lives.
The video shows they could have easily avoided standing in front of the car, but they apparently did not want to forego their chance to open fire on a pair of teens who did not show them the proper respect by coming to an immediate stop, leading them on a ten-minute chase instead.
Fortunately, they were not very good shots because they failed to strike the teens.
The incident took place June 2 as Fairfield police began pursuing a car driven by 19-year-old Dakota Murray when they determined his license plate did not match up with his car.
Murry, who had a female teenager in the passenger seat, refused to stop and about one minute into the video, ends up backing up into a ditch.
And that was when the two cops, Sergeant Dan Wall and officer Kathy Blumhagen, ran from their cars to stand directly in front of the suspect’s car to open fire.
Despite not striking their targets, they managed to survive the encounter and take both teens into custody.
“You pray every day that your officers aren’t put in that position,” Fairfield Police Captain Colin Smith told WHO-TV, refusing to acknowledge that the officers placed themselves in that position.
“It was determined, they were firing in defense of Sgt. Wall to avoid Sgt. Wall from being struck by the vehicle,” he further said. “You can hear the vehicle rev its engine and you can see the rear end is driven down and that it was heading towards Sergeant Wall.”
In the eyes of police, it was such an obvious case of self-defense, that it took them only eight days to rule the shooting justified instead of the usual months-long investigations we usually see.
And it didn’t take long to convict Murray, who had been charged with aggravated eluding law enforcement, failure to obey stop signs and excessive speed because he is now serving time in jail.
When WHO-TV asked Smith about the possible backlash from opening fire, he stated, “we try and get past that. I mean, you can’t think about the possible backlash when you are talking about your life being on the line. We are proud of the way our officers handled themselves.”
But again, it must be acknowledged that they placed themselves in front of the car as so many cops have done in the past to justify shooting at a moving vehicle.