Sheriff captured on bodycam saying, 'I love this s--t' after ordering deputies to shoot unarmed man
A Tennessee sheriff ordered his deputies to shoot an unarmed man during a slow-speed car chase so they wouldn’t damage their patrol cars by ramming him off the road, according to a lawsuit.
Sheriff Oddie Shoupe of White County is being sued for excessive force in the death of Michael Dial, who was fatally shot by police while driving with a suspended license on State Highway 70.
Shoupe later arrived at the scene and expressed his disappointment in missing the action when he said, "I love this s--t...I thrive on it," according to the lawsuit filed by Dial's widow Robyn Spainhoward.
Dial, who was driving a pickup truck with a fully loaded trailer at maximum speeds of 50 miles per hour, led police on a chase when he refused to pull over on April 13, 2017.
Deputies tried to nudge him off the road, but Shoupe delivered orders over the radio dispatch to shoot instead, the lawsuit states.
Shoupe was later captured on another deputy's body camera recounting his orders to shoot.
“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 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 District Attorney later ruled the shooting was justified, while Spainhoward continues to grapple with the death of her husband.
“When I wake up every day and he's not there, it's like going through it all over again,” she told News Channel 5.
"They could have let him go ten more miles down the road, he probably would have run out of gas... I just hope he knows I loved him," she added.
The lawsuit claims Shoupe’s decision was “not only inappropriate but also unconscionable.”
“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.