A Tennessee sheriff is being sued for excessive force in the death an unarmed man who was fatally shot by police during a slow-speed car chase.
Sheriff Oddie Shoupe has been accused of ordering his deputies to shoot Michael Dial, who was driving on a suspended license on State Highway 70 last April. Dial refused to comply when officers tried to to pull him over.
“I love this s—t...I thrive on it,” a nearby body camera caught Shoupe saying after the incident.
According to court documents filed by Dial's widow Robyn Spainhoward, the police cars chasing Dial tried to nudge him off the road. But Shoupe instead ordered his deputies to shoot at the car in order to avoid destroying their own cars.
“Per 59 (the sheriff) use deadly force if necessary. Take the subject out by any means necessary,” the radio dispatcher said according to News Channel 5. The news station was able to obtain video of the incident.
“I said, 'Don’t ram him, shoot him.' F—k that s—t. Ain’t gonna tear my cars up. But I got two cars tore up again,” Shoupe said, according to the lawsuit. He did not realize he was being recorded after the shooting by a body camera that another deputy had put in the back of a patrol car.
He added: “Let me tell you something (Deputy) Gaw, if they don’t think I’ll give the order to kill that motherf—ker, they’re full of s—t.”
“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 lawsuit states.