Body camera footage from an Ohio police officer captured the dramatic shooting of a knife-wielding man, and the incredible restraint and tactical awareness of officers responding to the threat.
Well done, Officer Hilling.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called the officer who shot a knife-wielding man on I-75 last week “one brave individual” before releasing body camera video to the public Tuesday.
The March 29 incident closed the highway for several hours and raised questions about why the man — suspected in a fatal stabbing three weeks ago in Maryland — was here in the first place.
Deters said no charges would be filed against Glendale Police Officer Josh Hilling, 30, who fired one shot at Javier Pablo Aleman after a confrontation. The prosecutor’s office completed its investigation of the shooting Tuesday.
The dramatic body cam footage reveals Aleman, 46, demanded to be shot multiple times and waved a large knife while staggering around I-75.
After being stopped for walking on southbound I-75, Aleman grew confrontational when Hilling tried to pat him down, and Hilling shot Aleman once in the abdomen. The video shows Aleman refusing to comply with Hilling’s orders for several minutes before being dispatched with a Taser.
Here’s the video.
Officer Hilling showed an incredibly amount of restraint and awareness throughout the confrontation.
He treated Aleman with respect as he stopped him walking down the side of I-75. Everything seemed fine on the surface, until Hilling went to pat Aleman down. Aleman then drew a large knife and turned on Hilling.
Hilling retreated and fired only one shot at Aleman, which is a very conservative response.
Keep in mind that handgun rounds have no stopping power (“stopping power” is now, and has always been, a myth), and officers and professionally-trained civilians are trained to fire a standard response of two rounds. Aleman fell after being hit by Hilling’s shot, but then got up and began pursuing him, screaming for Hilling to kill him, over and over and over again.
Hilling did not know it at the time, but Aleman is the suspect in a stabbing homicide in Maryland.
Aleman continued to pursue Hilling into the travel lanes of I-75. Hilling simultaneously kept his gun trained on Aleman, maintained distance, watched traffic, called for backup, continued to update dispatch, and somehow resisted the easily justifiable urge to shoot Aleman again and end the clear lethal force threat Aleman presented for more than three minutes. Considering most armed conflicts are over in 2-3 seconds, this showed incredible composure.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, Hilling somehow had the presence of mind to call out the location of other officers and maneuver them around vehicles on the roadway, so that officers wouldn’t back up and find themselves pinned against traffic, making themselves easy targets for Aleman where they would be forced to shoot.
Despite (untrained) popular opinion thinking otherwise, tasers are not an appropriate response to a lethal force threats like a knife, and Hilling and the second officer on the scene covered Aleman with their issue handguns. It wasn’t until a third (or maybe fourth or fifth; we can only see what Hilling’s camera shows) officer arrived that they had enough guns on the subject to deploy a taser. Fortunately, the taser worked this time (they fail to stop suspects a substantial degree of the time due to thick clothing and other variables), and Aleman went down and was taken into custody.
Despite the ignorant narrative of cop-haters, the vast majority of police officers will never fire their guns outside of a range over the course of a 20-30-year career, and most have no desire to do so.
Officer Hilling not only used the bare amount of force necessary, he kept his head and watched out for the general public and other officers despite having a knife-armed madman in front of him.
Well done, sir.