A dramatic body cam video has cleared a Cleveland police officer of Murder charges. The disturbing footage shows the officer trying to talk down a gunman, telling him that he does not want to open fire – and all this after the officer himself had been shot in the chest.
Prosecutor Tim McGinty released the intense footage on Wednesday, the day after a grand jury failed to indict four officers who shot 64-year-old Theodore Johnson to death after responding to an emergency request by his wife. The prosecutor said the officers were justified in their use of force.
In a statement, he praised the officers, saying: “These officers showed remarkable restraint and went above and beyond the call of duty to seek a peaceful conclusion.”
McGinty said that, as officers had their body cameras on and operating, the evidence was indisputable.
The incident took place on March 11, when Johnson’s wife went to a police station and told officers that her husband had threatened to kill her and her landlady.
Upon entering the building, officer Muniz was struck in the upper-right shoulder area of his bulletproof vest, which stopped the bullet just inches of his heart. The second part of the video opens with Patrolman Muniz in a firing position, pointing his gun towards Johnson, who is only five feet away.
“Drop the gun!” Muniz orders the man with a gun by his side. The man responds “Kill me!”
“We don’t want to kill you, just put the gun down,” pleaded Muniz. “You don’t want to die!”
“I do!” said Johnson.
“We want to help you,” another officer said.
Johnson continues yelling loudly. “I don’t need help!”
“We will get all the help you need,” said Muniz. “You need support. You need help.”
“I don’t need it, mister,” said Johnson. “She’s a liar.”
“Just put the gun down,” yelled an officer.
“Shoot me!” Johnson insists.
“No, we are not going to shoot you,” said Muniz.
“Why can’t you see I have dementia?” Johnson said sobbing.
To which Muniz responds: “I know you shot me, but I am not going to shoot you.”
“I’m 64 years old, please mister!” said Johnson, who then pleads with the officer, “Do what you do, man!”
“No!” said Muniz.
At this point, Johnson raises the gun at the officers and the clip ends. The video below shows the sad incident.
McGinty said: “This evidence demonstrates that Johnson attempted to murder a police officer by shooting him in the chest and then was determined to be killed by the police,” he said.
These officers showed incredible restraint under such dangerous situation.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.