In Kentucky, in the month of April of 2014, a police officer recklessly and brutally killed Samantha Ramsey, in an incident that was far from necessitating the use of a gun.
The officer was later identified as Tyler Brockman, a deputy at the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.
To justify the murder, Brockman said he was trying to stop Samantha from putting him and others in danger, as she was driving recklessly. Samantha had gone to a party and was returning home with her friends when the officer shot several times through the windshield of her car, killing her.
“The shots were fired not only to save his life but also the pedestrians walking on the road and the officers currently just down the road initiating other arrests,” Brockman wrote about himself in the post-shooting report.
But a video, which appears to be that of a dashboard camera video, released to the Cincinnati-based WLWT, contradicted what Brockman said. The video showed Brockman approaching the car as Samantha makes her way out. As the officer tried to stop the car, Samantha showed no sign of stopping and Brockman pulled his gun and sprayed the windshield with bullets, killing Samantha.
While the shooting occurred off-camera and the video doesn’t include audio, the hysterical reactions of friends nearby are clearly displayed. Friends can be seen throwing their arms in the air multiple times. The person on the right side of the screen, as well, can be seen rocking back and forth, unable to calm down due to the killing of his friend.
Gunnar Buemi, who was with Samantha when the incident occurred, told WLWT in an interview during Samantha’s candlelight vigil that the officer deliberately murdered his friend, and that there is no way the shooting can be justified as Samantha never posed any sort of danger to the officer.
“Justice needs to be done about this injustice. We’re all sitting here lighting candles, being quiet when the government is out here shooting. Any other human would have been put in jail for that. He needs to answer for what he did to that family,” he said.
Another friend, Chelsea Pendleton, was quoted by the Cincinnati Enquirer as saying that, “The cop was in the wrong… I was there. I was in the back seat. That was unnecessary force. He had no right to do that. That was dead body weight on the gas pedal after she was shot.”
Samantha’s family has filed a federal lawsuit against the Boone County Sheriff’s Office for improper training and failure to adequately supervise Deputy Brockman. According to the family, Brockman passed his weapons qualification two months before the shooting that killed Ramsey.
As we speak now, Brockman is said to be on leave. He has not been properly questioned nor placed under official investigation. He walks as a free man while family, friends and sympathizers of Samantha still grieve in their hearts for their huge loss of their beloved.
Activists say they hope that the family gets something good out of the lawsuit, although nothing can really compensate them for their loss. But according to activists, at least, Brockman should face the law, so that it will serve as a deterrent to other reckless officers engaged in the killing of innocent citizens.