A sheriff in Tennessee is facing a federal lawsuit after he was caught on tape instructing deputies to shoot an unarmed man during a car chase rather than damage their patrol cars by ramming the suspect’s vehicle.
According to The Guardian, White County Sheriff Oddie Shoupe was heard on camera saying, “I said, ‘Don’t ram him, shoot him.’ F*ck that shit. Ain’t gonna tear up my cars,” after a low-speed chase last April.
Smithville Police had attempted to pull over Michael Dial for driving with a suspended license. Driving a 1976 pickup truck with a trailer, Dial led law enforcement on a chase between DeKalb and White Counties. DeKalb County deputies said it was more like a funeral procession than a chase, and Dial’s wife said Michael was probably just scared.
Still, Shoupe authorized deadly force, and after Dial’s vehicle was run off the road, reserve deputy Adam West — who was driving his personal pick-up truck — and officer Charlie Simms opened fire, shooting Dial fatally in the head.
Then Shoupe arrived on the scene, where his most disturbing comments were picked up by a deputy’s body camera.
“If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherf*cker they’re full of sh*t. (Laughter) Take him out,” Shoupe was heard saying.
“I love this shit,” Shoupe continued. “God, I tell you what, I thrive on it.”
The district attorney in June said that the shooting was justified after a toxicology report revealed that Dial’s blood tested positive for drugs.
The Guardian noted that Dial’s widow is suing Shoup in federal court on the grounds that he used excessive force to kill her husband.
“I feel with every part of me that’s exactly what they wanted to do was kill him,” she told News Channel 5.
Watch footage from the chase below: