Police Release Excerpt From 911 Call That Led To Jeremy McDole Shooting (AUDIO)

On September 25, Addicting Info reported on the officer involved shooting of 28-year-old Jeremy McDole.

Bystander video, captured at the scene, shows four white police officers opening fire on the wheelchair bound man, who police claim was armed with a gun. McDole’s hands can be seen multiple times throughout the video. It’s clear that he was never holding a gun. (Watch the video for yourself here.)

Police have released a portion of the 911 call, placed by an unidentified woman, who called police for help. The first words heard on the recording are, “Get the ambulance.” A moment later she says, “A man just shot his self in the AutoZone parking lot.”

She then tells the 911 operator that the man has fallen out of his wheelchair and is laying on the ground. She goes on, saying “Please send the ambulance and the police, please.”

In the 2:41 second portion of the call that was released by police, the woman repeatedly claims that the man has a gun.

911 operator: “He shot himself?”

Caller: Yes! Yes, please. He shot himself and he’s on the ground and he’s moving a little and he still has a gun.

She repeats the same statement, saying:

“He shot himself, he’s on the ground. He’s moving and he still has a weapon in his hand. Please get somebody here.”

And again, she says:

“He’s still got a gun.”

The woman can be heard telling others at the scene the same story, “He shot himself, he’s still got a gun.” It remains unclear how this 911 caller was able to see a gun, when others at the scene apparently didn’t.

The video shows the first officer arriving on the scene with his gun drawn and pointed at the wheelchair bound man. “He’s over here!” Then, “Show me your hands! Show me your hands!”

Then, he immediately fires on the wheelchair bound man.  Within seconds three other white officers arrive, all with guns drawn and pointed at the paralyzed man. More orders of “Drop the gun!” and “Drop it now.”

This happens in spite of the fact that the video shows his hands are empty. That is substantiated when, at two different points in the video, Jeremy McDole places both his empty hands on the arms of his wheelchair, in an apparent attempt to raise himself up. At other points, both his hands are raised to about chest level, and again, there is no gun.

Here’s the biggest problem with the version of events the police are telling. They repeatedly ordered to him to drop a gun that we can see he was not holding. Yet they are telling us now that they executed Jeremy McDole because he “slid his hand toward his thigh, apparently reaching for a gun.”

Although the fact that Jeremy McDole ever had a gun remains under dispute by his family, if he did have a gun, and we know from the video that it was not in his hands, how the hell did they expect him to drop it without reaching for it? Whether he had a gun or not, it is very clear that the cops involved in this shooting made absolutely no effort to ensure that this situation ended without the loss of life. In fact, they did the opposite of what they’re called to do, by creating a situation in which the only possible outcome was the death of Jeremy McDole.

In cases of excessive and deadly force, the standard by which police conduct is measured is the standard of “reasonable force.” In order for a shooting like this to be considered justified, the behavior of these four white cops would have to be comparable to what “a reasonable officer” would do in similar circumstances.

Were the actions of these law enforcement officers reasonable? According to all the evidence available to date, after receiving a call from a frantic woman claiming that a man had shot himself and still had a gun, the officers arrived on the scene with their weapons drawn. The first cop on the scene almost immediately opened fire on the man. They were ready to kill without question. All because a 911 caller said he had a gun on his person. The 911 caller never even said that he was pointing the gun at anyone or that he was threatening anyone with a gun. What she said was that he was injured and he needed an ambulance.

Once they arrived at the scene, these officers made no effort to talk to Jeremy McDole, to ask if he was injured, to determine if he needed help, or even to verify that he had a weapon. They made no effort to find out if he was capable of understanding their commands, or if he was physically and mentally able to follow their orders. They repeatedly told him to drop a gun that he was not holding. Then they killed him, because (they say) he reached for the gun that they told him to drop. (It’s unclear from the video that McDole ever actually reached for anything.)

It’s obvious that these cops were hyped up and probably “in fear for their lives” before they ever got to the Autozone where Jeremy McDole was killed. If we measure their conduct by the standard set forth under stand-your-ground-type laws, (which allow anyone who feels threatened to kill first, ask questions later) then these officers had no responsibility to asses the situation and no duty to attempt to talk to McDole before killing him.

By that standard, all it takes to justify the use of deadly force is a hearsay statement that someone has a gun on their person.

Frighteningly, that standard has been used more and more often in recent years, to justify the use of deadly force by law enforcement. In the case of John Crawford, for example, an excited 911 caller told police that there was a man carrying a gun in an Ohio Walmart. The cops arrived on the scene and within a matter of seconds the young father was dead. Video footage showed that the cops never gave John Crawford a chance to respond. He was shot in the back. His last words were, “It’s not real.”

Crawford was carrying an air gun, which he had picked up off the shelves at the back of the store and was likely planning to purchase. The officers that killed John Crawford were found to be “justified” in their actions. Why? For no reason except that someone told a 911 operator that he had a gun.

In the case of Dillon Taylor, a similar 911 call led to his death.

As Addicting Info reported in November, 2014:

“They are obviously looking for trouble just the way they look,” the caller stated. While she reported that “the one in the red hat had a gun,” when asked where the gun was located, she couldn’t answer. Then she seems to recant her original statement, saying he had “something in his pocket.”

Dillon Taylor was killed by cops a short time after that call came in. He was not armed. Witnesses reported that he was wearing headphones, and was likely never aware there was a cop walking behind him with a gun pointed directly into his back, until it was too late. Officer Bron Cruz, who open fired on Dillon Taylor at close range, was also found to be “justified” in the murder of an unarmed citizen.

If it is reasonable for a police officer to kill you simply because that officer is under the impression that you have a gun, then the Constitutional rights we once had are now null and void. This means that you can be executed based on nothing but hearsay testimony, presented by a single, unreliable witness, in the form of a 911 call. It can happen at any time, any place, without a trial, judge or jury.

It should be noted that police selectively released only a portion of the 911 call. They’ve also refused to say when, or if the remainder of the call will be released.

More importantly, it must be noted that police say that they have still not confirmed the accuracy of the caller’s statements, but Jeremy McDole is still dead. He was executed by police on September 23. Police are using the 911 call to “justify” this shooting. Is it really justifiable that these cops killed a man based on statements that are still unconfirmed, days after the fact?

Here’s the released portion of the 911 call, courtesy of TNJ via SoundCloud.

The cop-defenders will predictably accept the released portion of the 911 call as justification for the shooting. At the same time, people with a conscience will ask the important questions that need to be asked, following this shooting. Should be police be required to verify information from 911 callers, before ending someone’s life? Are police responsible for making some attempt to communicate with a person, before gunning them down in cold blood? More importantly, is this what we are going to accept as “reasonable behavior” from law enforcement?

Featured image credit: video screen capture via John Horse on YouTube