Anytime a story involving police bodycam footage makes the news, it usually doesn’t have a positive or uplifting slant to it. In other words, you’re probably not seeing too many news stories containing bodycam videos of cops rescuing kittens from trees. Ok, so there is this video of police pulling a tiny puppy out of a hot car, but point being is that most bodycam-related stories are of the dangerous and high-octane variety.
This story out of Las Vegas certainly played to that unfortunate trend as footage from a July 11 incident was just released showing a police officer shooting through his own windshield during a high-speed chase at suspects who were believed to be involved in the fatal car wash shooting of a man earlier in the day.
Per CBS News:
During the pursuit, the two suspects fired nearly three dozen rounds out of their vehicle at the officers, police said. The suspects even drove into oncoming traffic during their efforts to get away.
The body camera footage shows the officers following close behind, swerving through traffic and speeding after the black SUV. Officer[ William] Umana, who has been with Metro Police for 17 years, calls for backup on his radio. “Shots fired, shots fired,” he is heard saying. He then began shooting at the SUV through his car’s windshield.
Judging from the video and the picture painted by the report, this was obviously a situation that required immediate action. But, with one suspect dying and the other facing murder with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, and discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle charges (both suspects had extensive records), there was definitely some more clarification needed on local law enforcement’s part. Cue the classic Monday morning press conference.
“It’s not something that we train for, but we’re prepared,” Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly said during the conference. “As you can see, the officer trained his weapon, once he got behind it, and fired in a clear pattern through his window to try to stop that threat.”
“When you look at that video, you get a clear picture of what officers were dealing with,” Kelly later said. “In my opinion they showed bravery and heroics we come to expect from our officers.”
“The officer could have backed off, but he didn’t. The video paints a clear picture of that.”
Sometimes the sort of action like that shown in the bodycam video needs to be taken in order to avoid greater damage being done. Nevertheless, it’s still pretty heavy stuff.
Anyway, here’s footage of that puppy being rescued that I mentioned earlier.