Bringing Together Conservative Voices

What is DEADLY FORCE, and when should it be used?

Former Tucson, Arizona police officer and host of “The Tatum Report” Brandon Tatum joins our show to discuss the recent shooting of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He explains what series of actions led to the fatal shooting and why people that like to play “Monday-morning quarterback” are often mistaken about these types of situations. What happens when a police officer is at the very end of his fitness level?

In this clip, “Fearless” host Jason Whitlock asks Tatum whether or not the city would have settled in a scenario where the suspect fires a gun at the officer, and the officer shot and killed him? Tatum says the city is unlikely to settle in a situation like that because the city is actually unlikely to pursue the case.

Tatum explains that in a situation like this with compelling video (to the average person) and in which the police department is sued, instead of fighting the family, the city normally just sits in the court for a crazy amount of taxpayer dollars and walks away from the situation.

Michael Brown’s family, for example, got paid out, and that was a justified use of force. Jacob Blake’s family got paid out, and it was a justified use of force — he was committing a crime in the course of him getting shot and paralyzed. Tamir Rice’s family got paid out, so it’s not necessarily a matter of whether the use of force was legitimate.

If they call it a wrongful death suit, it means that maybe there could have been a possibility that the person wouldn’t have died if somehow the stars realigned and the officer did something different. The court usually pays these people out. In this case, of course, you can Monday-morning quarterback or Monday-morning judge all you want, but the circumstances in this situation necessitated the use of deadly force.

Whitlock redirects, asking Brandon to explain to people why all of the Monday-morning quarterbacks are asking why the officer didn’t shoot him in the leg, the butt, or the arm? Why did the officer hit him in the neck and head area?

“Why did the police officer use lethal force when he could have shot him in the arm? It’s just like saying, why did Tom Brady throw the bomb down the field, and nobody was in sight? It’s because you don’t see that the wide receiver was supposed to run a go route, and he ended up stopping it early. Tom Brady threw it when he was going, and then he stopped, and so it looks like nobody was down the field. It’s the same thing with the police,” Tatum said.

If you don’t understand the use of force policy and how police are trained, then what you see will not match what you think. When an officer has gotten to a point where he/she has to use deadly force against a suspect, the officer can shoot them wherever he/she believes will stop them and eliminate them as a threat. Once a person has your taser, which is a deadly weapon, they can render you incapable of fighting if you get stung with it, and they could potentially kill you. So, that escalates the threat level and officers can use deadly force when they’re in a situation like that.

“I’ve been in plenty of problems like this police officer was … when you’re spent, and you’re at the end of your fitness level, and this guy now has your taser you don’t have a choice to pause and strategize whether or not to shoot him in a leg. Because if he takes that leg shot, he turns around to tase you, you’re going to be dead,” Tatum explains, adding that the use of deadly force results from the totality of circumstances.

Watch the clip to hear more from the conversation. Can’t watch? Download the podcast here.

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