Bossier, LA — Security camera footage has just been released of an officer-involved shooting which took place on October 25th. It shows forty-five-year-old Shannon Rupert, of Shreveport having a mental breakdown, possibly a result of illicit drug use, being shot dead for wielding a pair of tiny scissors.
Rupert was reportedly struggling with drug addiction and may have been suffering a break from reality when officers were called to the La Quinta Inn on Friday night in October.
Bossier City Police Department released the following statement about the incident:
The officer gave multiple verbal commands to Rupert to put down the weapon. Rupert then aggressively approached the officer with scissors in hand. The officer fired two rounds from his department-issued handgun, striking Rupert in the upper torso.
In the video just released, Rupert can be seen talking erratically on the phone, as she’s standing behind the front desk, a place where she is not supposed to be. She tells the person on the other line people are saying she does not live at the hotel. She can also be heard repeatedly saying, “You’re going to have to shoot me…you’re going to have to f***ing shoot me,” to Bossier City Police officer Patrick Edmond Jr.
The entire interaction with the Bossier police officer took less than three minutes for Rupert to be contacted, warned several times, and then shot dead. It is hard to tell if mentally ill people are suffering from a break from reality or being affected by the drugs they’re taking.
Rupert could have been having a manic episode, characterized by grandiose ideas, accelerated speech, and irrational behavior. At any rate, it was a true medical emergency for the middle-aged lady who has now been killed by police as they’re there to supposedly help her by protecting and serving.
As the video shows, the Bossier officer asks Rupert to get off the phone, put the scissors down, and not come any closer to him.
“Get back over there…hey if you come up here, I will kill you,”Edmond promises, an action which he carried out with precision.
While many will likely conclude the officer was well within his rights to execute the scissor wielding woman in suicide-by-cop fashion, several facts remain. The officer did not deploy his taser, did not attempt to strike the rather small scissors from her hand with a baton, and made no attempt to take the woman to the ground to disarm her at all. He went straight to his service pistol and carried out the death by cop.
Based on years of examining officer-involved shootings, and histories of police departments not charging their officers who’re protected by qualified immunity. In fact, after they investigated themselves, the Bossier City Police officer was cleared of any wrongdoing and the shooting was ruled justified.
Still, questions remain as to why he did not deploy some other method of handling the situation. If he backs away, Rupert could hurt someone with the scissors. If he closes the distance, he could get stabbed or possibly seriously injured. Did he make the right decision to dispatch Rupert or was there some less than lethal method he could have employed?
TFTP has reported on similar incidents in the past. In March of 2016, police officer Austin Shipley responded to a call about a woman acting irregularly in a store. Within minutes of his arrival, he would kill 27-year-old Native American woman Loreal Tsingine.
Conveniently, before they released the body camera footage, then-Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery issued a statement excusing Officer Shipley and said he would not pursue criminal charges against him because he was protecting himself and another officer who felt “threatened” by the 100 lb woman holding haircut scissors.
“After a careful review of the facts surrounding the case, including available video evidence and witness statements from all involved, my office found no evidence of criminal conduct on the part of Officer Shipley,” Montgomery’s statement said.