April 15, 2015

This isn't a slam dunk either way, given the suspect's behavior before the cop took action, but it certainly feels extreme.

CNN:

In one video, an officer who was tailing Valencia at slow speed reports over the radio that the suspect has fired one round in the air with a rifle he is accused of stealing that morning from a Walmart.

Another patrol car zooms past, runs into the man from behind then hits a short cinder block wall next to a driveway. Video from Officer Michael Rapiejko's camera shows the officer running the man over and the windshield smashing as the car hits the wall.

"Oh Jesus Christ. Man down," the officer in the first car says.

Police in Marana, which is about a half-hour from Tucson, have justified Rapiejko's actions.

"If we're going to choose between maybe we'll let him go a little bit farther and see what happens, or we're going to take him out now and eliminate any opportunity he has to hurt somebody, you're going to err on the side of, in favor of the innocent people," Police Chief Terry Rozema said. "Without a doubt."

The suspect's defense attorney disagrees with that assessment, and it will almost certainly be hashed out in court.

The important player here is the dashcam, which recorded the events in real time without editorializing. Without that, who knows what we'd be talking about?

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