New Carlisle, OH — While setting up his camera to cover the news, a Clark County Sheriff's deputy opened fire on Andy Grimm—a local newspaper reporter—after he mistook the man's camera for a gun. This incident was recorded on the officer's body camera and there was no dispute that he negligently shot an innocent man.
For shooting an innocent man, the public and police accountability activists called for the immediate firing and prosecution of Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Shaw. However, because he is backed by the thin blue line, instead of being fired or prosecuted Shaw was given a paid vacation and is now back on the job.
As the Springfield News-Sun reports, he returned to work Saturday, Oct. 21, after he was cleared by a psychiatrist and was assigned to the jail division, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Shaw had been working on the road patrol at the time of the shooting.
According to a representative from their office, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is still conducting their own investigation into the shooting. However, the length of time they are taking in this cut and dry case shows they may just be waiting for the coverage to die down before clearing the officer.
Grimm told the paper that he is waiting on the results of the investigation.
“It’s hard to believe that he’s back to work but I’m just waiting on due process,” he said.
The video, released days after the original shooting on the night of September 4, confirms Grimm's description, showing the cop exit his cruiser and fire two shots with no warning—over a camera and a tripod.
“I thought that was a freaking gun Andy,” Shaw said as Grimm screams in agony.
As Grimm bleeds out, Shaw realized the severity of what he had done and calls for an ambulance while applying pressure to the wound.
“I love you. I’m sorry brother,” he said.
As TFTP reported at the time, Grimm was out doing his job for New Carlisle News that night when he came across a traffic stop on the way back to the office and decided to take some photos. Grimm was tasked with taking photos of a nearby lightning storm but when he saw the traffic stop, he saw an opportunity for more pictures. However, that decision almost killed him.
"I was going out to take pictures and I saw the traffic stop and I thought, 'Hey, cool. I'll get some pictures here.'" he told the newspaper, according to New Carlise News. He said he pulled into a parking lot in full view of the deputy, got out of his Jeep and started setting up his tripod and camera. "I turned around toward the cars and then 'pop, pop."
“I thought you saw me wave,” Grimm can be heard saying on the body camera footage.
Recommended for You
He "had his camera in his hand" when Shaw feared for his life and opened fire. Grimm was shot in his side and was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery to save his life. He has nearly recovered from the hole put in his body by a man sworn to protect him and has recently returned to full-time work.
“In my head it felt like weeks, months,” he said of that night. “Like everything went through my head about kids, my wife, this and that. And then it hit me like, oh, that really is a bullet. I got shot.”
"I was just doing my job," Grimm said.
Insanely enough, Grimm went to bat for the officer immediately after the shooting and told the paper that he doesn't want the trigger-happy danger to the public who shot him for holding a camera to lose his job.
Even on the body camera footage, Grimm is heard saying that he doesn't want Shaw to lose his job.
“You didn’t mean it, I know,” he said.
“I just talked to Andy and he said that he is very sore, but in good spirits,” Dale Grimm, the photographer's father and publisher of the New Carlisle News, told Fox News at the time of the shooting. “He said the hospital expects to be releasing him Tuesday. He also stressed that he does not want the deputy to lose his job over this.”
"I know Jake. I like Jake. I don't want him to lose his job over this," Andy Grimm said.
“This is a small town. Everybody knows everybody. It was just a terrible misunderstanding,” his father said.
We disagree with the Grimms. This officer should, without a doubt, be fired, charged and never allowed to possess a gun or a badge ever again.
Would the elder Grimm feel the same way if Andy was killed from the gunshots? Sure, it was a misunderstanding but mistake or not, the use of deadly force was employed and a person was severely wounded and almost killed for it.
Even if Grimm himself doesn't want the officer to lose his job, the facts of the case do not change. A cop nearly killed an innocent person and therefore should be held accountable. However, that appears to be a pipe dream as Shaw is now back to work.
Yes, many officers are heroes and do amazing things. However—this one did not.
His fear, willingness to escalate to deadly force, and his poor judgment almost killed a man. He should be criticised. He should be held accountable. He is a danger and a menace to society and people should not be afraid of saying this.