Cop Uses Less-Lethal Pepperballs, Bad Guy Uses Real Gun
There is an inherent issue with police using less-lethal weapons: bad guys don’t use the same. In Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 3, police officers walked up to speak with the male and female occupants of a minivan parked outside a hotel at around 1:15 p.m. The driver abruptly drove away from the police.
When officers ran the license plate, they saw that it came back to a different vehicle. They stopped the minivan at a nearby QuikTrip gas station. That’s when things went from bad to worse.
Blue Lives Matter reported:
The officers spoke with the female driver but the backseat passenger, later identified as 34-year-old John Chatman, refused to exit the vehicle, according to KOTV.
Bodycam footage showed the officers as they spoke with the woman and Chatman near the QuikTrip gas pumps.
“He’s getting ready to hit you with the pepper balls – a lot of them,” one officer warned Chatman as the woman sat on the floorboard inside the van’s sliding door. “You step out here, you go in handcuffs, you can give her a kiss.”
“We can do this the hard way, or we can do it that way,” he added.
Another officer ordered the woman to step away from the vehicle and she complied after a moment of hesitation.
“Just shoot me!” Chatman began yelling at the officers.
“No! Get out!” the officer replied as they pushed the woman out of the way.
“We tried every option we could in that close proximity to get him to get out,” Sgt. Tuell told Tulsa World. “At the point when he says, ‘Just shoot me,’ it was apparent he was not going to be getting out of the vehicle.”
The second officer then stepped forward and aimed his less-lethal weapon inside the minivan, the video showed.
As the officer calmly stated that he was shooting pepper balls at Chatman, the suspect pulled out a real .32 caliber gun and fired it four times.
Police immediately backed away from the minivan and returned fire. The police supervisor on scene, Sgt Mike Parsons, was struck by a bullet in the thigh. He was transported to the hospital.
The suspect was struck in the chest and remains hospitalized. He was charged Wednesday with “possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, three counts of shooting with intent to kill, obstruction, driving with an improper tag, and driving under suspension.”
But this is the huge problem with less-lethal weaponry: police work is not like having a pillow fight with your friends. The other person will likely not be shooting less-lethal weapons in return.
The names of the other officers involved in this incident were not released in order to give them time to “temporarily relocate for their safety.” They often receive threats after a shooting. The following is the bodycam video.