An Ohio police chief is fed up with police shootings that he said “are making us [officers] all look bad.”
Rodney Muterspaw, a police chief in Middletown, Ohio, posted the messages on Twitter in response to the Tulsa, Oklahoma, police shooting of Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black man who was unarmed when an officer shot and killed him.
As an officer I am so sick and drained of some cops doing things like this. You are making us all look bad. STOP. #TerenceCruthcher— R_Muterspaw (@RodneyMute) September 20, 2016
Life is precious man. Sorry we don't all agree. Compassion and empathy is eternally important. Just sick of seeing death & hate. #Life— R_Muterspaw (@RodneyMute) September 20, 2016
https://t.co/i9HQLnhnTa— R_Muterspaw (@RodneyMute) September 20, 2016
This is what we do. Proud of it and proud of what we stand for.
Muterspaw also told a local newspaper that he will use the Tulsa shooting as a training opportunity. “It could be us tomorrow,” he told the Journal-News. “You have to look at it. It’s not second-guessing anybody. It’s training for us. It’s a chance to learn from it. We are not robots. We have an opinion too. If it makes our department better and keeps our officers safer, if it makes the city better, we should speak out about it.”
“We are like any job,” he added. “It’s not necessarily bad seeds or bad apples; people just aren’t prepared when something happens and they panic. You can train all day long. You can go through scenarios all day long. But you know you are not going to get hurt in those scenarios. But when it hits the fan, people sometimes panic.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has for years protested racial disparities in police use of force, which critics say Crutcher’s death exemplifies. But rarely are protesters joined by police in their criticisms, making Muterspaw’s comments particularly notable.
Video may have played a crucial role: Unlike past cases that relied on the testimony of eyewitnesses and police, Crutcher’s death was captured on camera — showing the 40-year-old unarmed and holding up his hands moments before he was shot and killed. In several police shootings and killings, such as those of Laquan McDonald in Chicago and Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati, similarly grisly images led prosecutors to file charges against the officers involved. Now these types of videos are apparently leading other members of law enforcement to speak out on social media.