(CNN) – His police chief says it was a situation that would have been considered a justified shooting, only the Ohio officer did not fire one shot.
That officer is being praised for his quick thinking and restraint after video from his body camera reveals a tense confrontation.
“Law enforcement officers all across the nation have to deal with split second decisions that mean life or death. I wanted to be absolutely sure before I used deadly force.”
Easier said than done, and that’s never been clearer than through the lens of Officer Jesse Kidder’s body camera when the homicide suspect he’s following gets out of his car and charges.
“He jumped out and he sprinted towards me. I had my firearm already drawn on me and I told him to put his hands up in the air and he was screaming as he was yelling ‘shoot me, shoot me’.”
Dispatchers had told Officer Kidder the suspect may threaten suicide by cop, and that he could have a gun under his seat. But Officer Kidder relied on his own split-second observations to know what to do.
“So he’s got his arms at his side while he’s running at me, and that’s the first thing I noticed. He put his hand in his pocket there, so my eyes are watching that, hand right now and nothing else.”
Knowing backup was on its way, Officer Kidder kept backpedaling while the suspect insisted Officer Kidder shoot him.
“I was trying to open a dialogue with him, ‘I don’t want to shoot you, get on the ground’, but he wasn’t having it. He kept repeating ‘shoot me’, at one point he said ‘shoot me or I’ll shoot you’.”
Then the suspect charged. “And he got towards my face right as I lost balance. I’m thinking at this point that if he goes in to attack me that I’ll have to use deadly force to defend myself.”
And just in the nick of time, there’s the sound of backup, and a surrender.
“For him to make the judgment call that he did shows great restraint and maturity. This video footage, it eliminated all doubt that this officer would have been justified if, in fact, it came to a shooting.”
Officer Kidder says one of his relatives gave him the body camera to use after what happened in Ferguson. Now, the chief says he’s hoping to find funding to get them for the rest of his department.
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