Reality Training: Tenn. suicide-by-cop incident caught on dashcam
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said that his department will use the video for training purposes — so will we
On April 14, 2011, 34-year-old Guy Ronald McDowell called 911 to report that a shooting had taken place. He called again moments later to describe his vehicle and indicate that he wanted to surrender to police.
Officer Charles Lyons of the Knoxville police department located the suspect vehicle and was following him on Central Avenue Pike when McDowell stopped, exited his car, and brandished a silver pistol. Officer Lyons immediately put distance between his car and McDowell’s, calmly telling dispatch, “I’ve got a red PT Cruiser 197 whiskey mike x-ray tried to go 10-25 on me.”
Additional units had joined the pursuit on Interstate 275 by the time a Knoxville police negotiator called McDowell on his cell phone. McDowell abruptly stopped his car, and instead of complying with officers’ clear instructions to get out of the car with his hands up, “McDowell chose to exit with the firearm, pointed it at officers and then made a racking motion with the weapon as he leveled it at the officers,” said Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch.
McDowell was holding a pellet gun painted to look like a chrome-plated 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol — it was a suicide-by-cop incident caught on dashcam. Chief Rausch said that his department will use the video for training purposes — so will we.
• What are your observations of Officer Lyons’ use of his vehicle? Does your agency train for “rapid rearward tactical movement” in such scenarios? If so, is that training done by EVOC instructors, use-of-force/firearms instructors, or both?
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