Police hope to use jarring dash cam video as training tool - KCTV5

Independence police hope to use jarring dash cam video as training tool

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INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

Surveillance video captures the heart-pounding moments when a traffic stop became a gun battle on Interstate 70 between an Independence police officer and a suspected bank robber.

And Independence police say the reactions by their officer on that video can serve as a training tool for others and save lives.

Warning. The raw video is graphic.

An Independence policeman pulled over a red car that matched one from a March 2011 bank heist. The dash cam video shows the scary situation that happens next - a man gets out of the car with a gun and begins firing. The video captures the shootout.

"Get back, he's got a gun" followed by "Shots fired, shots fired, shots fired" can be heard over the video's audio.

It took less than 30 seconds from the stop until the suspect took his own life. The traffic stop was made on I-70 just east of U.S. 291 in front of the Bass Pro Shops.

"You don't want to approach any violator or any stop with the assumption of guilt but, by the same token, you have to have sufficient guard up and mental preparation should something go to that next level because you do never know," said Independence Police Department Capt. John Cato.

Cato plans to use the videos as a training tool for his officers.

He said the day-to-day work an officer does, like a vehicle stop or pedestrian check, can turn dangerous in a heartbeat.

"I think one of the worst things any officer can do that we try to avoid is to allow anything to become routine," Cato said.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the suspected bank robber's death a suicide. As a result, the Jackson County Prosecutor considers the case closed.

KCTV5 filed a request for the dash cam video under the Missouri Sunshine Law. The police department provided the video to news organizations on Friday along with a second video.

That video will also be used as a training tool. An officer stopped a man for questioning after a reported carjacking near East 34th Terrace and Lee's Summit Road in Independence.

The suspect, seen on the left side of the video, runs through a neighborhood street all the while shooting. The officer in the cruiser, whose dash cam is recording the entire incident, then runs the suspect over.

"Shots fired, officer down, shots fired," is heard shouted over the video by an officer.

The man run over in the video was not seriously injured and is now serving time in prison.

The officers in both incidents were not hurt.

"It is becoming a times more dangerous," Cato said. "It's a changing world. The possibility of that routine incident growing to something more like we saw in those two videos is more prevalent today than it was in the past."

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