A police officer in Texas has been terminated from the force after an investigation determined that he violated official policy when he rammed his car into a suspect’s vehicle, cornered him and then fired 41 shots, killing him.
Officer Patrick Tuter shot and killed Michael Vincent Allen on August 12, 2012, but he has only now been fired more than six months later. He has spent the last half year on administrative leave while the Garland Police Department conducted an investigation that has finally concluded this week.
“Tuter has been fired because he was found in violation of two general orders of our department,”Garland PD spokesperson Joe Harn tells the Dallas Morning News. “He violated our pursuit policy as well as our use of force policy.”
The events of last August occurred after Officer Tuter pursued Allen, an unarmed 25-year-old, because he was wanted for running from the police only days earlier. A high-speed chase ensued, and Tuter followed Allen in his cruiser for around 30 minutes. At that point, Tuter slammed into Allen’s pickup, reached for his gun and fired 41 shots.
Only three of the few dozen bullets entered Allen’s body, but he died nonetheless from gunshot wounds to the back, side and arm.
“I don’t see anybody reacting like that,” the victim’s father, Randy Allen, tells CBS 11 News. “41 shots, I mean, was the other police officers just standing there?”
”I can’t believe somebody didn’t tackle him and say, ‘Stop, that’s enough,’” he says. Speaking to NBC News, he adds that the officer’s use of force wasn’t just excessive. “It was excessive on top of excessive,” he says.
According to the officer’s attorneys, “Tuter did feel in fear for his life and was justified in firing his weapon.” The estate of the victim is suing the officer for wrongful-death. Meanwhile, Tuter’s attorneys have been appealing the indefinite suspension that was enacted in August and according to some report will appeal his termination.