** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **
Police dashcam video captures the moment a Grand Prairie officer had to make a life-and-death decision: to shoot or not to shoot? The video shows the end of a police chase in a Grand Prairie neighborhood about two weeks ago. The driver of a pickup truck suddenly pulled into someone’s driveway and jumped out into a shooting position. “He got out, put his hands out like he had a gun and started yelling, ‘I’m going to shoot you, I’m going to shoot you,” said veteran officer Jeff Payne. “My first thought was, ‘Oh crap, I’m about to get shot.'” In a fraction of a second, Payne took a careful look, and even though it was dark, he could tell the man didn’t actually have a gun. “The whole time, everything slowed down,” Payne said. “It was really slow. It seemed like forever.” “Honestly, I think I almost killed that guy. If it hadn’t been for that split second, I probably would have,” Payne said.
Instead of shooting, Payne unleashed his four-legged partner, Jurek. Jurek followed his training and bit the man’s hands. “Everything in his hand fell out,” Payne said. “He had a pocketknife and a little flashlight.” Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye has commended Payne for his quick decision making. “I’m proud of you, seriously,” Dye said to the officer. “I thought you did a great job. Your restraint, your level of training, and also saving his life.” Dye said the video shows a side of policing that rarely gets attention. “Yes, sometimes we have to use force, but more often than not we are not using force when we could have used force,” Dye said. The suspect first went to the hospital for injuries stemming from the big bites. He was then booked into jail. Payne and his partner went home that night “I’ve got a wife and kid to get home to,” he said.
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