“I Want to Keep Him in the Position to Where I Can Maintain Control Without Having to Go to Deadly Force. That’s Obviously the Last Resort I Want to Go To”

Police officers are justified in using their guns when needed to protect their lives, but it is better when a bad situation can be handled without injury or death and without the use of deadly force. On 17 September 2014, a black Mercedes stopped moving near the intersection of Sunrise and Swan in Tucson, Arizona. According to witnesses, the 67-year-old driver appeared to be dazed or unresponsive. Pima County Deputy Kevin Gardner responded. He said about the driver, “He grabbed a walking stick or cane and thrust it at me and hit me in the chest.” Deputy Gardner added, “He got away from my grasp, was able to reach into the center console and pull out a six-inch folding knife. He opened it up and displayed it at me at that point.” Deputy Gardner did not draw his gun, but he did draw his Taser, aka stun gun. He said, “I want to keep him in the position to where I can maintain control without having to go to deadly force. That’s obviously the last resort I want to go to.” Deputy Gardner did not use the Taser until the driver moved toward a citizen. The driver fell to the ground but kept ahold of the knife. Another deputy found the driver’s identification papers in the car. Deputy Gardner said, “At that point we told him, ‘Edward, we need you to put that knife down.’ I think he realized what the situation was. He saw several deputies with guns and Tasers on him, and he realized the situation, what it was. He looked at the knife and threw it to the side.” Som Lisaius, a reporter for Tucson News Now (Arizona), wrote this: “We’ve learned that the driver involved in this ordeal recently left his wife in California without explanation. We’re told he’s a Vietnam veteran who is bi-polar and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He could face local charges for what happened Wednesday. But in the meantime, he has been admitted into Pima County’s Mental Health Services.”

For Further Information: Som Lisaius, “Pima County deputy uses restraint in potential deadly-force incident.” Tucson News Now (Arizona). 18 September 2014

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