By PoliceOne Staff
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — An Indiana police department recently released video of a fatal officer-involved shooting of a man armed with a replica gun.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports that Evansville PD Officers Jesse Montank and Samuel SeDoris pulled over 58-year-old Douglas Kemp for speeding on Feb. 23. Montank asked Kemp to turn off the vehicle while SeDoris scanned the suspect’s car.
After Kemp refused to turn off the vehicle, SeDoris called for another squad car and warned Montank that he saw a knife on the floor of Kemp’s vehicle. SeDoris then told Montank to handcuff Kemp.
When Montank ordered Kemp to exit the vehicle, SeDoris saw what he thought was a real handgun in the suspect’s car.
EPD spokesman Sgt. Jason Cullum said Kemp’s hands were free until he was told to get out of the car, which is when the suspect allegedly reached for the gun. SeDoris warned Kemp to drop the weapon before firing at the suspect, fatally wounding him.
Police later determined that the gun Kemp had was an airsoft pistol that shoots BBs. The orange tip that was meant to indicate it was an airsoft gun was removed, and other safety markers were covered with marker, police said.
The officers went on paid administrative leave for three days, which is standard procedure, and were later cleared. Cullum said the officer’s actions were considered reasonable.“It wasn’t just the fact that it was present, it was that Mr. Kemp went from empty hands and verbally noncompliant to putting this gun in his hand before exiting the car,” Cullum said.
“If you display a firearm, real or replica, in a manner that a reasonable officer in a similar situation views as an imminent threat, they’re going to take action,” he said.