July 3 2008 For the first time since that night in 2004 when 3 Memphis police officers shot 2 people to death, whose car smashed into a brick wall and house, was played in court.
Shelby County Judge John Fowlkes allowed the video to be shown Thursday in a court hearing on whether Officers Tony Galtelli and John Gardner should face reckless homicide charges.
The two officers, as well as Officer Vance Plumhoff, shot and killed Donald Rickard, 38, and Kelly Anne Allen, 44, after a police chase across the Mississippi River into Memphis on July 18, 2004.
Plumhoff already has been granted a pretrial diversion, meaning he'll enter a program that would wipe his criminal record clean if he stays out of trouble.
The seven-minute, 11-second video showed Rickard behind the wheel of a Honda sedan that took off after being pulled over.
An officer can be heard shouting, "We have to shut him down before he gets to Memphis," as the chase heads onto Interstate 40. The cruisers speed past other traffic and head into Memphis.
Rickard takes an exit and flies through several intersections before an officer shouts that he's "wrecked out" after a turn onto Tennessee 14. The video shows Rickard attempt to back up as the three West Memphis police cars try to pin him against a building.
One officer reaches into or bangs against the passenger-side window as two others draw their handguns. Rickard's car starts backing up again as the officers begin shooting at the car. The report of at least three gunshots can be heard on the video.
As Rickard's car whips around back onto Tennessee 14, an officer again tries to reach into or bang on the passenger window. Another fires at least 10 shots at the car as it starts to drive away from the officers.
About 10 seconds later, the video shows Rickard's car crash into a brick wall and the side of a house.
Defense attorney Steve Farese said the video showed officers followed the rules.
"They're radioing back and forth," Farese said. "They're trying to contact Memphis police. They're trying to do everything by the book."
Four years later, Gardner and Galtelli are still on the force and have the full support of West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert.
"Even the prosecutors in Arkansas reviewed it and said they didn't commit any violations, and they've been persecuted for four years," Paudert said.
But Rickard's mother Daisy Rickard doesn't agree. She told that police stopped him because a headlight was broken. She said her son was a drug user and was probably running scared, but doesn't believe that justifies the actions of the officers.
"For them to just run him down like a rabbit or a deer, and shoot him like they did ... I know he took three bullets, and she took one," Rickard said.
A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 26 for the judge to decide whether the two officers will face charges.
Tags: police, chase, pursuit, cops, dashcam, caught, tape, cam, judge, court, crash, death, shooting, dead, John Gardner, Tony Galtelli, Vance Plumhoff, Donald Rickard, Kelly Anne Allen
Location: Memphis, Tennessee, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved, repost
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