A woman is suing the White County Sheriff’s Department following her husband’s death. Police body-camera video shows a sheriff ordering officers to “take out” a man they were chasing.
The chase started in Dekalb County when Michael Dial lead deputies on a 50 mph chase. He was suspected of driving on a suspended license when he crossed over into White County.
That’s when deputies rammed his truck and trailer, trying to force him off the road. When it didn’t work, Sheriff Oddie Shoupe issued an order that his dispatcher relayed to the deputies.
“Per 59 [the sheriff] take him out by any means necessary including deadly force.”
Reserve deputy Adam West, who was driving his personal vehicle, drew his weapon. As deputies spun the suspect out of control, deputy West starting shooting. Michael Dial died after being shot in the head. He was unarmed.
When Sheriff Oddie Shoupe arrived at the scene, he was recorded on a deputy’s body camera.
“I said take him out,” he said. “I don’t give a s***.”
Dial’s family is suing the sheriff, alleging he “preferred to shoot and kill Mr. Dial rather than risk damaging his patrol cars.”
“They said we’re ramming him,” the sheriff was recorded saying. “I said don’t ram him, shoot them. Ain’t going to tear my cars up. If they don’t think I’ll give the order to kill that mother f*** they’re full of s***.”
Then, the sheriff said, “I love this s***. God I tell you what I thrive on it.”
Sheriff Shoupe, who’s been in office for 16 years, is not running for re-election.
The day of the shooting, the sheriff seemed unfazed as the deputy who shot Dial looked emotional.
“I made the decision,” the sheriff said. “Don’t have to worry about it. I took that away from y’all. You don’t have to worry about nothing.”
District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway released a statement regarding the incident:
“Regarding the April 2017 officer-involved shooting incident in White County, Tennessee which resulted in the tragic death of Michael Dial, I would like to make absolutely clear that the District Attorney’s office does not condone or support the behavior and comments of the White County sheriff. The public’s outrage over the sheriff’s behavior and the community’s sympathies for Mr. Dial’s family are shared by this office. The decision not to bring charges against the responding officers was based on an evaluation of the individual actions of Mr. Dial and the individual actions of those officers under the circumstances in which those officers found themselves. The sheriff was not present during the pursuit; he did not make the offensive comments until well after the conclusion of the pursuit. Over the course of a lengthy pursuit through two counties, Mr. Dial repeatedly, willingly and directly endangered the lives of civilian drivers and law enforcement officers. A complete review of the multiple pursuit videos show Mr. Dial’s truck and trailer driving at times on the wrong side of the roadway directly into oncoming traffic and forcing citizen drivers off the road, proceeding from highways to city streets past schools and businesses, and colliding with police vehicles, all the while indicating no intent to stop. In the nearly 10 months that have elapsed since this incident, this office has proactively shared information with the public, beginning with our office petitioning the Chancery Court to authorize the release of the TBI investigative files to be made available to the public, and the distribution of a detailed news release in May 2017.”