Ohio officer shown running over gunshot victim in dashcam video placed on leave
"This was an accident," said Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf. "It doesn't mean it's okay. It was an accident."
An Ohio police officer who is seen running over a shooting victim with her squad car Sunday night has been placed on administrative leave.
Authorities in Springfield and other law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident in which Officer Amanda Rosales ran over 42-year-old Eric Cole, who was lying in the street on his back after being shot.
Cole had been shot in his left arm and shoulder and was airlifted to the hospital, pronounced dead Monday after midnight. His actual cause of death has not been released. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office will perform an autopsy and toxicology tests, the results of which could take up to 12 weeks.
Her colleagues contend that Rosales accidentally rolled over Cole as she was looking for him.
“The lead officer was trying to catch addresses on the house. Eric was lying in the street,” Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said at a news conference Wednesday, according to NBC News. “This was an accident. It doesn’t mean it’s okay. It was an accident. This was not an intentional act on the part of the officer. I am sure of that.”
Springfield NAACP President Denise Williams also spoke Wednesday and addressed Cole’s mother, Regina Wilson, saying accountability is paramount.
“We will have every piece of paper with information on it. That’s our job,” Williams told Wilson. “We will ask all of the hard questions, and I guarantee you there will be complete transparency.”
The incident will be investigated by local officials and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. According to reports, Officer Rosales has been with the force for 18 months.
Springfield Police released two videos to NBC News; one is 95 seconds long, the other lasts two minutes. In both clips, Cole is seen lying in the street covered in blood. He appears to hold something up to his face, possibly a cell phone, as he reportedly had just called 911 himself for assistance before Rosales ran him over.
Chief Graf said Cole told dispatchers he believed that he was dying.
According to WDTN, Wilson told local news outlets she believes the officer should be held accountable and explained what she had been told by Graf.
“He said, ‘Your son has just been shot.’ Never once was I told that an officer ran over my son,” said Wilson. “Why was I not told at the scene that she ran over my son?”
Graf responded to her directly, saying Cole’s shooting and Rosales’ accident were being treated as separate events.
“If we made mistakes here, that’s my responsibility,” the police chief told her. “And I’m sorry that that’s bringing up questions in your mind.”