A Tennessee country sheriff, Oddie Shoupe, is being sued by the widow of a man whose shooting he ordered.
Robyn Dial filed a federal lawsuit “alleging the use of excessive force against her late husband (Michael).” The court filing said: “It was not only inappropriate but also unconscionable for Defendant Shoupe to give the order to use deadly force.”
But the White County sheriff was adamant that his order was warranted.
“I hate that this happened," he said in a SpartaLive interview. "But we are not going to tolerate people coming into this county and running over our citizens and our officers, and we will deal with them severely.”
Body camera recording revealed that Shoupe gave instructions for Michael Dial, with whom law enforcement was engaged in a low-speed car chase, to be fired on.
Deputies initially used the Pursuit Intervention Technique, which is meant to turn a moving vehicle sideways, reducing its speed and bringing it to a stop by nudging (ramming) it with a patrol car.
According to Channel 5, Shoupe can be heard in the recording saying: “They said, ‘we’re ramming him,’ I said, ‘Don’t ram him, shoot him. F-ck that sh-t. Ain’t gonna tear up my cars.’”
Dial was reportedly driving on a suspended license and ignored instructions from DeKalb Country officials to pull over.
“If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherf-cker they’re full of sh-t,” Shoupe said, according to the recording. “Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county.”
White County officials took over the chase after Dial crossed over the border into their jurisdiction. Shoupe was not involved in the car chase, but issued the shoot-to-kill order via radio. “Per 59 (the sheriff), use deadly force, if necessary. Take the subject out by any means necessary,” a News Channel 5 report said.
Following the fatal shooting of Dial, Shoupe made his way to the scene and could be heard – on the recording – saying: “I love this sh-t, God, I tell you what, I thrive on it.”
Reserve Deputy Adam West fired three shots into Dials' vehicle as it fell into a ditch.
Dial died of a gunshot wound to the head.
The District Attorney Office ruled the “shooting was justified.”