FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Video Prompts Review of Michigan OIS

This dash-cam footage prompted prosuctors in Washtenaw County, Mich., to reopen their review of Pittsfield Township Police Officer Tracy Yurkunas' shooting of a domestic violence suspect during a vehicle stop.

March 22, 2011

Comments (19)

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19

Clint @ 3/22/2011 2:39 PM

It almost looked like he had a gun in his left hand when he got out of the vehicle..

ChillyWilly @ 3/22/2011 3:44 PM

While it is always difficult to judge an officer's decision to utilize deadly force. In this particular video it appears to me that upon exiting the vehicle the subject made a distinctive and overt furtive movement toward his stomach/ waistband area. The subject took this action against the clear commands that the officer gave him to surrender.
Another factor is that the mounted camera clearly shows a different angle of the subject. Further, that particular view/ angle does not adequately represent the officers view, or perception of what she thought was an imminent deadly threat. In addition "how the call actually went out" makes a difference, as well as the circumstances surrounding of the first contact initiated with the subject.
Having said that, it's pretty easy for us to sit behind a computer and watch the video in slow motion, when the officer on the scene only had "1.5 seconds or less" to make a deadly force decision.
You be the Judge...

jim vause @ 3/22/2011 6:38 PM

I've been in LE for 36 years. I feel she was justified in the shoot. The appearace of the subject reaching for a weapon is dominant in this footage.

GB @ 3/22/2011 7:02 PM

Sure looked like he was reaching for something? This is a place I see people carry their guns. What amazed me was how many times they had to tell him to show his hands.

John Wilson @ 3/23/2011 8:59 AM

From the video, he was not responding to her commands to show his hands and made a furtive move toward his waistband as if reaching for a gun or other weapon. He kept asking for him to show his hands and then shot him. She shot in the area where she saw the danger, She should be cleared of this shooting incident and it should be labeled a good shoot. I feel sorry for the officer. She will need counselling to recover from this and not doubt her actions. Why they are reopening this is a mystery. But she should be exonerated without and derogatory comments from the prosecutor or the department.

Chief John J. Wilson Retired

Steve @ 3/23/2011 1:15 PM

Chief Jon,

She hadnt even said a word before she pulled the trigger. The guy stepped out of his vehicle and reached for something in his pants and she fired. Then told him to put his hands up. If for some reason judging by the video you still believe that she ordered him to put his hands up a number of times BEFORE shooting him, then I am glad you are retired and I feel safer knowing that you are no longer on the job. Before you start feeling sympathy for the officer for the decision she had to make please remind yourself that she signed up for the job. Nobody forced her to become a police officer. She goes to work every day knowing that it may be her last or she may have to take action like she did in this video. She is in no way a hero of any sort. She was simply just doing her job, sort of. The video clearly shows the man being shot without a single word uttered by the suspect, the female police officer or the male police officer, that is until AFTER the suspect was shot. Its police officers like you Jon that give the others a bad name. You are clearly biased in her favor. And the really bad part is the Police Union will do everything to keep her on the job. She should at least be reprimanded and required to attend a refresher course in her basic training.

Steve-2 @ 3/23/2011 1:30 PM

Chief Jon,

upon further review, she didnt even utter a single word until 5 seconds after she shot him. She fired, looked at the male officer, the male officer then shouted commands to the suspect to put his hands up while the female officer stood their like a deer in headlights while wondering what to do next. Clearly she was in the right to defend herself against bodily harm. But DO NOT try to LIE about her commanding him to do anything before she shot him. Just like the Seattle Police officer that shot the Deaf Indian Woodcarver. The Police officer witnessed a peaceful man not bothering anybody walking on the sidewalk holding a wood carving in one hand and a carving knife in the other. The officer shouted to the man to drop the knife as the MAN HAD HIS BACK TURNED TO THE OFFICER AND WAS WALKING AWAY. The man didnt even know the officer was their. The Officer shouted the command, gave the suspect 3 seconds to comply and shot him numerous times in the back. The man was dead before his body hit the ground. Although the shooting was NOT justified charges were never filed against the former Seattle Police officer who later resigned to avoid being fired so he could move to a small town in Bum Fuck Egypt and play cops and robbers again.

We are living in a Police state more and more these days and the people simply will not take it any longer. Police actions such as these, un justified shootings and beatings of handcuffed suspects happen too much these days and you pigs have your damned unions to protect you. You think you can do no wrong. Their will come a day when the people take a stand and fight back. Their are more of us than you. Remember that the next time you squeeze your trigger

JHolliday @ 3/23/2011 11:03 PM

It seems as if some people that made comments hate the police, and they should look at all the facts and Not just judge by a small segment of video. It's a good thing that such people don't get to make the calls, but of course the people that hate the police would Demand that the police have no rights and only criminals should have rights.

Maybe people that are so quick to judge would feel different if they were the victims of these violent criminals out there..... that's what I think they deserve.

dm @ 3/24/2011 4:24 AM

Steve, know what you are talking about before you start bashing somebody. You can not tell from this video what the shooting officer said. The mic supplying the audio for the video is attached to the second officer not the shooting officer. Second verbal comand would be nice but not required when an imment threat is present and a verbal command would jepordise your life or someone elses. Good shoot looked like he was reaching for his waistband and the shooting officer had a better view than the camera.

Jane @ 3/26/2011 8:14 AM

For all the comments about the officer not giving commands you haven't watched all the videos. Check This shows more of the incident and includes the officer's mic.

martin @ 3/26/2011 9:55 AM

its people like steve that we must learn not to pass judgement until knowing the whole about putting your foot in your mouth!

even if i didn't see the video with the officers audio telling the suspect to put his hands up, i find that its not fair to judge because once the suspect gets out of the car for a second before the shot is fired he is off camera (blocked by the car in front of the camera) and we don't see what the officers see.

i have to commend her on being a great shot and at a minimum hitting her target under THAT stress and being able to recall the details as to why...

Matty @ 3/30/2011 8:00 AM

I have 17 years in LE, and after reviewing the video several times carefully, the video clearly shows the subject exit the vehicle rapidly, turns toward the Officer, and with a quick motion of his left hand reach for his waistband. The Police Officer is clearly justified in using Deadly Physical Force. The Officer is not obligated to wait for a gun to be pointed at her. The subject made an aggresive action to a uniformed Officer in a marked patrol vehicle. It is a split second decision that unfortunately many of us are painstakenly aware, that if not made correctly, leads to dead Police Officers. This Police Officer followed her training, utilized cover, and ended her shift safely by going home to her family. Re-opening this case is purely a political descision. Have the prosecutor go through some scenerios on a Firearms Training Simulator and see how many times he or she gets killed. This is a good shoot period.

john russell @ 4/1/2011 5:20 PM

Apparently this man jumped out of this vehicle very fast and she may have thought he was reaching for a gun,knife or some form of opinion she reacted way to fast before evaluating the situation.

Dillon @ 4/21/2011 5:12 PM

Matty you are right, the subj exits the veh quickly and as he is turning he reaches with his left hand toward his waitband. Mr. Russell go back and watch the beginning of that video, and watch how fast the subj gets out of the vehicle and makes his move. From the point he turns around to the point to officer saw that he was reaching for a weapon to firing her weapon was less than a second. Thats all the time she had to realize she was in danger, there is no sit back and wait and see what happens time, and if you do you've lost the battle.

POMLR @ 5/20/2011 1:19 PM

So she should have waited for him to respond to any commands and then shot him? I don't think she really had the opportunity to issue a series of commands. He was out of the car before and reaching for something. "Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6". Glad she chose to survive. He should have complied.

POMlr @ 5/20/2011 1:24 PM

Thank you Jane for the FOX posting. This shooting is justified. He was reaching, there is no question she ordered him to comply. He did not. I feel bad she has to put up with the crap this media BS.

TrojanMan51 @ 5/27/2011 9:05 AM

After what appears to have been a tense situation or high priority call, the defendant simulated reaching for a weapon in his waistband and the Officer made a split second decision to fire her weapon. The decision she made was in immediate defense of life. If the defendant had a weapon and she waited to confirm the fact by sight, he would have been able to discharge his weapon first due to lag time. This is a justified shooting.

Tactical @ 2/17/2012 1:10 PM

He grabbed his crotch at her, Possibly SBC. SHOOT HIM! she's clearly dumbfounded after firing looking around and not eyes on target. Fail

Travis Davis @ 3/28/2012 6:43 AM

As a civilian watching the video. I can honestly say she did the right thing. That guy jumped out of his vehicle so freaking fast and clearly made a move that would indicate he was going for a weapon. She had to make a decision in a split second. She had to protect herself and her brother officers. And she made the right one here! Its not like the guy was minding his own business and she just came up and shot him for no reason. My vote is job well done and give her a medal!

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Videos

Police Magazine