Body cams are an essential part of police work. They show what happened in many situations, eliminating he said/ she said scenarios.
For one Cleveland officer, the video footage from his body cam proved to be vital.
Theodore Johnson’s wife, Juliette Johnson, went to the police station to make a report about her husband.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Juliette Johnson went to the Fourth District police station that night to report that her husband had been drinking and was waving a gun around, threatening her and their landlady.”
Police officers were dispatched to their home and were let into the upstairs apartment by the couple’s landlady. The officer’s announced themselves as they entered, stating that they were officers.
Confronting Theordore Johnson
However, Theodore Johnson was waiting. He jumped out with his gun and shot Officer Munoz in the chest. Munoz was wearing a bullet proof vest, saving his life.
Munoz took the opportunity to return the favor, attempting to get the 64-year-old to put the weapon down.
Munoz told Johnson, “We don’t want to kill you—drop the gun!”
“You need some help. I know you shot me but we’re not going to shoot you.”Officer David Munoz
Even though Munoz gave Johnson the opportunity to make the right decision, he instead choose to raise his rifle aiming at the four officers.
The officers were forced to fire, leaving Johnson dead. Clearly the situation turned into a his life or theirs narrative, when they just wanted to help.
Johnson had a prior conviction for domestic abuse. The officers entering his home knew that that it was a high risk situation.
However, they went in anyways. They went it to do their jobs. They went in to try to save a life.
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do when people do not actually want to be helped. You can offer as much as you want, but there is no guarantee they will take you up on the offer.
To the Officer Munoz’s credit, he could have fired back immediately after Johnson shot him in the chest. Instead, he tried compassion and reason. He even offered help, help that Johnson did not want.