Posted by Nick Dutton - email
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – Police officers are forced to make a life and death decision at a moment's notice.
A few months ago, the Toledo Police Department invited the media, prosecutors, judges and others to take part in their Shoot, Don't Shoot training program.
Lucas County Judge Gary Cook referred to the training when he sentenced Ottawa Hills Officer Thomas White to 10 years in prison for using excessive force.
Perrysburg Deputy Chief Mike Gilmore says folks should remember to not make sudden movements, and as the officer approaches, keep their hands visible.
White stopped motorcyclists Michael McKloskey and shot him in the back because he thought he had a gun. However, Mckloskey did not have a gun.
"The one thing I remember officer Gilmore saying to everyone in that situation was give yourself a chance to understand the situation you were dealing with," said Cook.
However, Gilmore says it is not easy to make decisions under stress.
Recently, video posted on YouTube showed a Seattle officer punching a woman in the face. Just before the punch, she is seen shoving the officer while he tries to arrest her friend.
"When I saw that blurb, it looks bad for the officer," said Gilmore. "But he may not be wrong when you look at the whole situation."
In the video, it is clear the officer is alone.
"A lot of people coming in, now there are hands coming on," said Gilmore. "His weapon, can they grab his weapon?"
A preliminary report found the officer justified in alleviating a potential threat.
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