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Heartland police dept. shares body cam video to show how on-the-job dangers can be personal too

Body camera video shows two New Madrid Police officers involved in a tense situation with a man...
Body camera video shows two New Madrid Police officers involved in a tense situation with a man who they say refused to drop a shotgun.(Source: New Madrid Police Department/Facebook)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 10:02 AM CDT
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NEW MADRID, Mo. (KFVS) - New Madrid Police Department is sharing body camera video of their officers on their Facebook page to show how responding to a dangerous situation involving someone with a gun is not always clear-cut. It can be personal.

Sgt. John Dubois and Officer Chris Griggs were called to the 200 block of Pinnell Lane on Wednesday afternoon, April 27 to a disturbance.

According to the police department, a witness said a man in a wheelchair hit another man with a baseball bat, then said he was going to leave and come back with a gun.

During a conversation with a witness, Sgt. Dubois reported seeing people running from O’Bannon Park and a man in a motorized wheelchair with a gun.

In Sgt. Dubois’ body camera video, you see him get out of his patrol, with his gun drawn while ordering the man to drop his gun.

The man could be heard asking why. Sometimes inaudible.

Police said the man had been drinking and appeared to be disoriented.

But, after ordering the man several more times to “put the gun down,” Officer Griggs’ body camera shows the man dropping what appears to be a shotgun on the sidewalk.

Officer Griggs’ body camera also shows him backing up Sgt. Dubois during the situation, picking up the gun after it was dropped and placing handcuffs on the man.

As the handcuffs were being put on him, the man can be heard asking Sgt. Dubois if he was mad at him.

Sgt. Dubois replied, “Yeah, I’m mad at you.”

Then you can hear Sgt. Dubois sighing, what sounds to be a sigh of relief that the tense situation is over.

New Madrid Police Chief Joey Higgerson said this video doesn’t only capture an intense moment in what could be a shoot/don’t shoot scenario officers train for, but a clear picture of a “personal relationship officers should have with the community.”

Chief Higgerson feels both officers did an excellent job and the community should be proud of how they handled it.

He said responding to calls like this could also be situations involving a gunman who is having a mental health crisis, who is extremely intoxicated or possibly a juvenile.

Higgerson adds the video not only shows the dangers officers face daily, but how a split-second decision can affect the life of someone they know.

The man arrested was later charged with assault second degree, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

The video of the situation can be viewed below.

04-27-2022 Pinnell Incident

04-28-2022 On the afternoon of April 27th two officers responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of Pinnell Lane. A witness said a man in a wheelchair had hit another man with a baseball bat, and then said he was going to leave and come back with a gun. As Sgt. Dubois spoke with the witness, he saw people running from O'Bannon Park, then saw the subject with a gun. He approached the man, whose name has been redacted from the video, and ordered him to drop the gun. The man, who had been drinking and appeared disoriented, first refused to drop it. Sgt. Dubois continued giving commands to drop the gun. The man finally dropped the shotgun on the sidewalk. Officer Griggs placed him in handcuffs and the gun was secured. The suspect was later charged with Assault 2nd Degree, Armed Criminal Action, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. Sgt. Dubois and Officer Griggs encountered what police trainer Major Steve Ijames describes as the "unconventional adversary". Major Ijames states that if you encounter a bank robber or murderer in a shoot/don't shoot scenario, things may seem more clear-cut. However, in many instances, officers find themselves dealing with a gunman who is in mental health crisis, who is extremely intoxicated, or possibly even a juvenile. Sgt. Dubois and Officer Griggs spoke clearly to the suspect, with Sgt. Dubois repeatedly calling him by his first name (which was redacted). In addition, you hear the suspect ask Sgt. Dubois "are you mad at me", which highlights the type of personal relationship officers should have with the community; in fact, you can hear a sigh of relief come from both when the confrontation is over. While we don't frequently release body cam footage, this video highlights not only the dangers officers face daily, but also the split second decisions they must make that will affect the life of someone they know. Both officers did an excellent job, and our community should be proud of their efforts. Respectfully, Joey Higgerson Chief of Police New Madrid Police Department

Posted by New Madrid Police Department on Thursday, April 28, 2022

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