Listen, I’m no fan of police officers sitting behind trees to try and catch you going 5 over the speed limit and slap you with a $175 fine.
But I support our police and troopers and the risk they take EVERY single day just reporting to work.
And it’s important to remember just how much danger is involved in even a routine traffic stop.
A newly released dashcam video was just released from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and it show just how quickly things can turn.
On a dime, suddenly you’re in a life and death situation.
That’s what happened to Rodney Cook on May 30 in this newly released footage.
As described in the video:
Siler City, North Carolina — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol released dash camera video showing a trooper shooting a man who emerged from his driver’s seat with a gun in his hand during a traffic stop in Chatham County. The video shows 21-year-old Mark Diaz of Staley being pulled over for a seatbelt violation by Trooper Rodney Cook on May 30 around 4:30 p.m. Video shows the trooper asking Diaz to get out of his truck after he fails to give him an ID, authorities said. Cook also suspected drug use, according to NCDPS.
Once asked to get out of the truck, the driver, Diaz, pulled out a pistol, the video shows. Cook then tried to block the gun and retreated toward his patrol car. The trooper fired a shot at Diaz as he stepped out of the truck with the gun. As Cook fires, the video shows the truck rolling forward, stalling out and a passenger jumping from the car, fleeing the scene, but returning later, according to Highway Patrol. The dashcam video shows Diaz down on the pavement as Cook called in the incident from his car.
He shouted for Diaz to drop the pistol he is still clutching. Cook approaches Diaz who is still on the ground with the gun in his hand. Cook gets the gun away from Diaz and radios for backup and EMS assistance. Cook also begins performing life-saving measures on Diaz. However, Diaz was taken to the hospital where he died a short time later. Cook was not hurt during the traffic stop. He was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation which is agency protocol.
Now watch here and watch how fast this turns:
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol released dash camera video showing a trooper shooting a man who emerged from his driver’s seat with a gun in his hand during a traffic stop in Chatham County. pic.twitter.com/FKCUijIhBr
— Coki (@Zucoki) June 10, 2022
Here are more details, from the Charlotte Observer:
A 21-year-old man killed by a state trooper in Chatham County pulled out a gun during a traffic stop and stepped out of his vehicle with it before being shot once, new video shows. Mark Anthony Diaz died after he was shot by trooper Rodney N. Cook on May 30, Memorial Day. Cook initially stopped Diaz for a seatbelt violation, authorities said previously.
Dashboard camera footage from Cook’s patrol car was released Tuesday morning after the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said it would ask a judge for permission to publicly share it, as required by state law. The State Highway Patrol’s troopers don’t wear body cameras. TOP VIDEOS × Moises Diaz, who is Mark’s older brother, said the State Highway Patrol showed his family the footage. He said his brother was driving with a friend to another friend’s house to watch an anime show on TV when he was stopped. Mark Diaz lived in Staley, a small town in Randolph County.
He said Mark was a nonviolent person, and he didn’t know he owned a gun. “They were going to search his car,” said Moises Diaz, 25, in an interview with The News & Observer. “I think he just got scared. If my brother did point the gun at (the trooper) with bad intentions, then at least they could have disarmed him, or tried their best to like, detain him, but then again, it was in the heat of the moment.”
WHAT THE VIDEO SHOWS
After Cook, a 16-year Highway Patrol veteran stationed in Chatham County, stops a white Ford pickup truck on a residential street in Siler City, he asks the driver and passenger why they’re not wearing seatbelts while driving on U.S. 64.
“The reason why I stopped you is you’re not wearing a seatbelt,” he is heard saying in the video. “The law says you have to have it on no matter where you’re at on the road.” He then asks him for his license and registration, which Diaz and a passenger says he cannot provide. During the brief interaction, Cook asks how much marijuana is in the truck and then says, “I smell something,” followed by a command for him to step out of the vehicle. A brief struggle suddenly ensues between Cook and Diaz, who is still in the driver’s seat. The Highway Patrol says this is when Diaz took out a pistol and Cook tried to disarm him.
As Cook retreats to his car with his hand on his gun holster, a hand holding a pistol emerges from the driver’s-side window. The State Highway Patrol released video footage from a fatal shooting of a driver stopped for a seat belt violation by a trooper in Chatham County on May 30, 2022. NCSHP Diaz opens the driver’s door and steps out of the car with the gun in his hand. Cook shoots him one time and Diaz falls backward, the weapon still in his grasp. The car, which remained in drive when Diaz stepped out, rolls forward and crashes into a parked car, prompting a passenger to sprint out of the car and away from the scene.
That passenger later returned to the scene during the investigation, authorities said previously. While Diaz remains on the ground, Cook approaches with his weapon drawn, instructing him to let go of the gun, but he manually disarms Diaz while he is still on the ground.
Some “damn good shooting” — I agree:
[that’s some damn good shooting under difficult circumstances; wish all OI shootings could be documented this well.]
Man, 21, fatally shot by trooper in Chatham County pointed gun at officer, video shows https://t.co/i6mPGA6pSF
— Sam Andrews (@SamAndr41291423) June 7, 2022
Some media, including videos, may only be available to view at the original.