A Twitter follower alerted us to the story surrounding the death of Samantha Ramsey, 19, who was shot and killed by Boone County (KY) Deputy Tyler Brockman as she attempted to leave a party.
According to authorities, Deputy Brockman tried to stop Ramsey’s vehicle, but she accelerated, throwing him on the hood, and he had to shoot her in self defense.
This claim is disputed by eyewitnesses, including one inside the vehicle:
Deputies said the vehicle struck Brockman, who landed on the hood of the car, but witness Chelsey Pendleton, 20, of Ludlow disputes that.
Pendleton, who was a backseat passenger in Ramsey’s car, said the deputy jumped on the hood from the side of the car.
“The cop was in the wrong,” she said. “I was there. I was in the back seat. That was unnecessary force. He had no right to do that.”
Pendleton also disputed deputies’ claims that Ramsey accelerated her vehicle.
“That was dead body weight on the gas pedal after she was shot,” Pendleton said.
Sheriff Michael Helmig ordered a full investigation into the incident and placed Brockman on administrative leave, as policy dictates. No one was available from the sheriff’s office Sunday night to respond to the claims made at the memorial.
Eyewitness reports are notoriously inaccurate, but there was dashcam video being recorded from Brockman’s car that shows part of the incident. It is not conclusive, but provides enough information to get a better idea of which account is more nearly accurate. The full video is more than 46 minutes long, but the most relevant video (going by the YouTube counter) runs from 1:55-2:23.
At 1:55 Brockman walks in front of his vehicle and speaks the driver of a vehicle, who then drives off of camera. At 2:17, Ramsey’s car slowly enters the frame, and is approached by Deputy Brockman. At 2:21, Brockman shines his light at Ramsey in the car, and begins walking to the driver’s side door with a hand raised, clearly attempting to stop the vehicle.
At 2:23, just as the vehicle and Brockman begin to exit the camera’s field of view, he appears to be standing beside the “A” pillar of Ramsey’s vehicle.
Eyewitness Chelsey Pendleton’s recollection appears to be the account most supported by the dashcam video.
The front of Ramsey’s vehicle is clearly several feet past Deputy Brockman. He is standing several feet from the driver’s side door. He is not in danger of being thrown onto the hood of the vehicle, though it is possible that he might have faced the slight risk of Ramsey’s driver’s-side rear tire run over his foot as the vehicle continued forward off camera.
Claims that Brockman was struck by the vehicle and thrown on the hood are obviously without credibility, though it appears possible that he might have been able to jump on the hood as Ramsey’s car drives out of frame.
Here at Bearing Arms, we respect law enforcement officers for doing a typically thankless job. Unfortunately, some law enforcement officers either receive inadequate training, make bad decisions under pressure, or simply let their professionalism slip away.
Clearly, Ramsey made a bad decision in attempting to drive past Deputy Brockman.
Deputy Brockman made a far worse decision in deciding that Ramsey’s apparent “contempt of cop” justified shooting her.