Cars are safer than unarmed suspects in Tennessee, thanks Sheriff Shoupe

Farida Dawkins February 09, 2018
Sheriff Oddie credit: Sparta Live

There should be no doubt that police brutality is a growing problem. For those who question this notion just research the countless number of citizens killed by law enforcement officials within the span of the last few years.

Now, a Tennessee sheriff has opened his mouth and confirmed the pain that numerous families have had to face. The sheriff is actually heard on videotape ordering the death of a suspect rather than damaging his patrol cars.

Sheriff Oddie Shoupe made the disparaging comments not aware that his voice was being monitored by a body camera that one of his deputies had placed in the rear of a patrol car, according to News Channel 5.

The police officers can be heard saying “We’re ramming him,” to which Shoupe replies: “I said, ‘Don’t ram him, shoot him.’ F–k that s–t. Ain’t gonna tear up my cars.”

The incident happened in April of 2017 when law enforcement officials in Smithville, Tenn. attempted to stop a vehicle which Michael Dial was driving. Dial was operating a 1976 pickup with a trailer at the back.  He was also driving with a suspended license which caused the pursue between him and cops.

The chase spanned the length of two counties; DeKalb and White counties. The police in White County took over since Dial entered their jurisdiction.  Reserve Deputy Adam West who was in his personal vehicle, got involved in the chase.

Though Shoupe was not physically involved in the pursuit, he was documented giving orders to end Dial’s life.  Shoupe was recorded saying: “I love this shit,” he continues. “God, I tell you what, I thrive on it. If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that m———-r, they’re full of s–t. Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county.” The deputies involved could be also be heard laughing at the order.

An investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation revealed that the chase never reached high speeds; Dial drove at 50 mph at the most.  Most times he stayed within the 30-40 mph range. News Channel 5 reiterated.

Then came the final order “Per 59 [the sheriff], use deadly force if necessary. Take the subject out by any means necessary.” a dispatcher is heard saying on the recording.  West pushes Dial’s pickup off the road then proceeds to take out his weapon.  West exits his truck and opens fire.  Sparta police officer Charlie Simms also shoots his weapon. Dial is struck in the head.

After the shooting, West is documented as being visibly upset however, Shoupe quells his emotions by stating: “You don’t have to worry about this. I made the decision. You don’t have to worry about it. I took that away from y’all. You don’t have to worry about nothing. Everything’s cool. You done exactly right.”

The District attorney vindicated the shooting nonetheless, Dial’s wife, Robyn Dial has filed a lawsuit against Shoupe, White County, West, and Simms.  Dial’s attorney David Weissman said: “I don’t know how you can thrive on taking a human life. That’s not law enforcement,” “If that’s the mentality of the highest policymaker in the county, that’s scary.”  Dial’s wife notes: “They could have let him go 10 more miles down the road; he probably would have run out of gas… I just hope he knows I loved him.”

This isn’t the first time Shoupe has been the subject of a federal lawsuit.  In late 2017, Shoupe and White County judge Sam Benningfield were hit with litigation after the judge signed an order allowing inmates to receive 30 days of credit towards their sentences if they agreed to a vasectomy or a birth control implant.

See footage of the deadly encounter here:

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: February 9, 2018


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