CBS Local — A Tennessee sheriff is facing a lawsuit after body cam video captured the officer ordering deputies to shoot a fleeing suspect. White County Sheriff Oddie Shoupe was also reportedly recorded saying “I love this s—” after the chase ended and the suspect had been fatally shot.
Michael Dial was driving with a suspended license when he was pulled over by police in April of 2017. Dash cam video from Tennessee police show Dial speeding away and ramming several squad cars during the dangerous highway chase. Dial’s widow, Robyn, filed the lawsuit claiming excessive force after one of the officer’s body cameras revealed Sheriff Shoupe calling for the driver to be shot, rather than continue damaging department cars.
“They said ‘we’re ramming him.’ I said, ‘Don’t ram him shoot him.’ F— that s—. Ain’t gonna tear up my cars,” Shoupe said, according to recordings obtained by newschannel5.com. “I love this s—. God I tell you what, I thrive on it.”
“I don’t know how you can thrive on taking a human life. That’s not law enforcement,” Robyn Dial’s attorney David Weissman said, per newschannel5.com. “If that’s the mentality of the highest policy maker in the county, that’s scary.”
Shoupe can also be heard telling Deputy Adam West, who was visibly upset after fatally shooting Mr. Dial, that he acted correctly and argued that the fleeing suspect could have killed another driver during the pursuit. “You don’t have to worry about nothing. Everything’s cool. You done exactly right,” the sheriff was seen saying.
District Attorney Bryant Dunaway ruled the shooting justified after investigating the case in 2017 however, he had not seen the body camera recording before making that decision. Shoupe and the sheriff’s office have not commented on the lawsuit.