Officer Chansey McMillin, of Muskogee, attempted to arrest 21-year-old Terrence D. Walker on Saturday. During the pat-down, the officer felt a weapon on the suspect, who immediately fled from McMillin. As Walker ran away, the officer’s bodycam captured the chase. During the incident, the officer attempted to apprehend Walker, for both of their safety. However, the bodycam captured the moment that McMillin felt that he might be shot, and decided to shoot first. Video of the graphic shooting was released on Friday, showing how integral bodycams can be to justify an officer’s decision to use lethal force.
The New York Daily News reported Officer McMillin approached Walker and his friend in the parking lot of a Baptist church. Walker was patted down, to ensure there were no weapons hidden in his clothing. Walker started to fidget and tense up and was told to calm down and relax. During the pat-down, Officer McMillin felt a weapon, and Walker took off running away from the officer. During the chase, McMillin can be heard calling for help on his radio as Walker is running ahead. Walker dropped his weapon and pointed it at the officer as he picked it up. McMillan can then be heard and seen firing off multiple shots, hitting and killing McMillin during the shootout.
KFOR News Channel 4 reported that Walker threatened to kill a female attendee at a wedding party that was taking place inside the Baptist church, which is why officer McMillin was called to the scene. McMillin suspected there would be a gun on Walker’s body and proceeded with caution.
Witnesses at the scene are split in their reaction to the shooting. Some saying that McMillin did all he could to apprehend Walker without harming him, stating that the shooting was justified. Still, others claimed that Walker merely dropped his cell phone, not a gun.
A press release from the police department stated that the dropped object was not a cell phone, but a cocked gun.
“The video clearly shows that the gun was recovered in very close proximity to the suspect and shows the hammer cocked and a bullet in the chamber. If the suspect were to have fired the gun, the bullet would have been fired in the direction of the officer, multiple bystanders, and toward the direction of oncoming traffic and a residential area.”
Despite the video evidence, the shooting is currently under investigation. What are your thoughts on the video?
[Photo Courtesy: New York Daily News]