CNY Talking About Arizona Police Shooting of Suspect in Wheelchair
Central New York is talking about a video showing a police officer fatally shooting a man in a scooter or motorized wheelchair at a store in Arizona.
According to Fox 10 Phoenix the Tucson Police Department officer involved was "fired after he was accused of shooting a shoplifting suspect in a wheelchair nine times, killing him, after the man brandished a knife, authorities said Tuesday."
The man in the wheelchair was identified as 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards, who died at the scene.
The incident was captured on Officer Ryan Remington's body camera. He was fired for "excessive use of force."
WIBX asked former Utica Police Lieutenant Steve Hauck for his opinion on the incident. He says, "In this case you have to look at...could the officer have done something else...Deadly force is a last resort." Hauck says had the officer tried some of those other methods before shooting it could have created more reasonable circumstances.
He acknowledges that it is difficult to determine culpability just by looking at the one video, and from the particular perspective shown, but he believes that the video as it stands shows no justification for the shooting. And, he says, Mr. Richards "stopped forward motion" after the first shot. Why Officer Remington allegedly shot Richards eight more times in not known. "He was fleeing and he was armed...but the question is...'Is it reasonable to assume that there is nothing else that could have been done.'" It appears that the shooting was not reasonable.
Hauck says, The whole thing is to prevent danger." There was a female employee in the store and the officer, when shooting, appeared to have been shooting in her direction. That, Hauck says, definitely did nothing to prevent danger to anyone involved in the situation.
[AUTHOR'S WARNING: The videos below may be difficult to watch. There are two videos. The first is from the Tucson Police Department. The video that follows that is from Fox 10 in Phoenix. Both include video from the officer's body camera. If the reader does not want to see the video now is the time to exit this post.]
Here is the video from Fox 10 Phoenix's YouTube channel: