SPARTA, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee sheriff's comment that he would rather have deputies shoot a fleeing suspect than damage patrol cars has fueled a lawsuit claiming officers used excessive force in a deadly highway shooting.
News outlets report White County Sheriff Oddie Shoupe made the comment after a chase last April ended with deputies fatally shooting Michael Dial after he failed to stop.
A report by WTVF-TV plays the body-camera recording in which Shoupe says his deputies told him they were ramming Dial. "I said, 'Don't ram him. Shoot him." At another point, the sheriff says, "Ain't gonna tear my cars up."
Dial's wife, Robyn, is suing Shoupe, White County, Reserve Deputy Adam West and Sparta police Officer Charlie Simms. According to WTVF, West and Simms fired the shots at Dial.
WTVF says Shoupe declined comment.