Body camera footage out of Utah shows the instant before a West Valley Police officer was forced to fatally shoot a DUI suspect in the jail intake room last month.
Michael Chad Breinholt was killed after attempting to take an officer’s gun in the DUI processing area, following his August 23 arrest.
Breinholt was under the influence when a woman called police earlier in the evening, claiming that the man was causing a “ruckus” and that she believed him to be intoxicated.
After being arrested and taken to the DUI processing area, Breinholt told officers he had a gun in his shoe. When officers said they would address it in a moment, the suspect became impatient and tried to stand up.
“You don’t want to fight with me. You definitely don’t want to fight with this guy,” an officer says calmly, pointing to another officer. “Just sit your a** and stay, OK?”
Finally, Breinholt got the officer to remove the shoe, which gave the suspect a chance to grab the officer’s gun.
“F*ck, he’s got my gun,” the officer shouted. “He’s got my gun!”
Suddenly, a third officer entered the room.
“You’re about to die, my friend,” he said, trying to get Breinholt to stand down.
The officer fired a single shot, hitting Breinholt in the head.
“He’s dead,” the officer said.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the incident lasted all of six seconds.
Police Chief Colleen Jacobs defended her officers, noting that dealing with intoxicated people is a dangerous business.
“Some people become combative. Some people are very compliant. Some people become passive-aggressive. Some people turn into a lump of potatoes and won’t cooperate with anything,” Jacobs said.
It is unknown if Breinholt really had a gun in his shoe.
According to Utah law, an officer is justified in using deadly force if they believe doing so will prevent the death or serious injury of themselves or others.
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