Law enforcement instructor Leon Spears broke down police body camera footage of a man charging an officer with a hatchet during a standard traffic stop.
The footage began with a police officer conducting a normal traffic stop after a driver ran a stop sign. The individual responded respectfully to the officers’ questions and called a relative — presumably his mother — to potentially provide the officers with an updated insurance card, according to the video.
A second vehicle suddenly pulled up behind the officer during the traffic stop. A man climbed out of the vehicle and charged him with a hatchet, causing the officer to immediately fire several bullets at the person, the footage shows.
“Shots fired, shots fired, don’t move,” the officer commanded. “Stay in your car, young man, don’t move!”
Several officers then arrived at the scene to inspect and remove the body of the man carrying the hatchet. Spears pointed out the police officers’ obligation to respond swiftly to dangerous situations, even if the case leads to the death of a suspect.
“We just need to talk about the little time that officers have to react to random things on a traditional traffic stop,” Spears said.
“The officer is stopped, talking to the nice kid, and … [a] car just randomly stops in the middle of the road, and for no reason at all. So that’s a red flag right there. Then it moves about three or four feet up and abruptly stops, and then the driver of this random vehicle jumps out of the vehicle, says nothing and has an axe.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Firearms Trainer Leon Spears Breaks Down The Best Viral Cop Videos)
“So think about that, it’s like you’re washing dishes and you’re talking to your girlfriend, and then all of a sudden somebody randomly climbs up your deck and climbs through your patio door with an axe while you’re talking casually to your significant other … nobody can even process that. Officers have to process that,” Spears continued. “Officers have difficult jobs.”
Spears emphasized police officers have to be prepared to engage in deadly force in order to protect their lives in the case of being fatally threatened.