The Officer Tatum Explains Why Cops Do Not Shoot People In The Leg

Many critics of police policy like to say that cops should be trained just to shoot suspects in the leg. In this video, Officer Tatum debunks this myth and explains why police need to use force against people yielding weapons.

The police officer in the video is called to the scene for a disturbance between roommates. The roommates reported that this man was acting erratic and crazy. When the cop arrives, he commands the man to exit the rooms. As the cop says, “Open the door now,” he draws his gun.
Tatum explains that he draws his gun because you never know how quickly things could escalate, and you also don’t know if the suspect is armed or what they plan to do when they come out. Like Brandon says, “They’re not coming to give you cupcakes.” He points out that you can always put your gun away if the situation is not dire, but you cannot always get it ready quick enough if it is needed.

The officer asks the suspect to put his hands up and asks if he has weapons. Tatum explains that since the officer does not know the situation behind closed doors, he needs his gun for protection. What if the man behind the door has a gun? There could very well be a shootout in the hallway, and the cop needs to be prepared. He explains the situation from the officer’s point of view. The officer is thinking, what if the suspect shoots at me from this door? Can I dodge any stray bullets that may come my way?

The suspect throws open the door, and the cop yells to put his hands up. The man charges at the officer holding a machete, and the officer fires a shot. The first shot does nothing, as well as the second shot. The officer had to shoot him another time to ensure the man didn’t attack him.
Tatum points out that the officer tried to shoot him point-blank the first two times and missed, furthering the point that trying to just shoot in the leg or toe is near impossible.

After the suspect is shot, the cop radios for EMS, but the responders cannot hear his radio. Tatum tells his viewers to listen to the labored breathing by the officer, a point he explains later in the video. Since the oficer cannot reach the dispatch by radio, he has to call on his phone. Tatum also points out that all officers should save dispatch on their phones for these situations.

Tatum goes on to explain that it doesn’t make sense why this officer is out on the call alone. He points out that if the roommates had turned against the officer, he would’ve been in real trouble. Officers should not be sent out alone on any call, let alone a call involving disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, or disturbance. Officers should have an emergency button on their radio, and Brandon points out that either the officer didn’t feel the need to use it or didn’t have one.

At the end of the video, Tatum addresses the officer’s heavy breathing. He talks about the officer’s fight or flight and fear mode kicking in. Because of this adrenaline rush, it’s important that officers are well trained and pay attention in their training. If they don’t, they could do the wrong thing and wind up getting killed or hurt. He hopes everyone can learn something from this, especially why it is not logical for cops to just shoot in the leg.


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