Tallahassee Police Talk About Using Deadly Force

By: Laura Kadechka
By: Laura Kadechka

Tallahassee Police say as violent crimes increase across the country and in the capital city, they are sometimes forced to make the decision they don't want to make, use deadly force.

OFC John Newland knows what it feels like to make that split second decision. It was back in 2002 when he and two other officers were confronted with a situation where they felt another officer's life was in jeopardy.

He recalled the incident saying, "We thought he was going to kill OFC Vince Capese. At that time, three officers fired their weapons simultaneously and we just injured the suspect."

Newland and the two other officers were cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury. It was one of three police involved shootings that year, the same year SGT Dale Green lost his life in the line of fire.

Newland says remembering what's happened comes back to many officers when faced with the decision of whether to use deadly force.

"You think about that, you think about what can happen to you after wards and then some and your career, whether you made the right decision."

Since 2002, Tallahassee police say there have been nine shootings involving police officers.

2002: There were three shootings involving officers firing their guns. All officers were cleared by a grand jury.

A fourth incident was the shooting death of SGT Green by the hands of a suspect.

2003: There were no incidents reported.
2004: 1 fatal shooting, officers cleared.
2005: 1 fatal shooting, officers cleared.
2006: 3 shootings, Officer cleared in the first shooting incident.

No one was injured. Two others still have to go before a grand jury. This includes the shooting of 28-year-old Diaquiri Ball at Campus Lodge. A grand jury is to hear that case by the end of this month.

Officers say despite the dangers they face each day, they continue to put the uniform on to serve their community.

SGT Darrell Furuseth said, "You know there's always a chance something could be dangerous, where you have to take a person's life. It's not a decision we want to have to make."


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