Questions Arise Regarding Shooting on Highway 212

The situation on Highway 212 in Eden Prairie where police shot two individuals has raised some questions. Family members of the woman who was shot have hired a lawyer to investigation the officers’ claims:

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) – The family of one of the people shot and killed by police on Highway 212 last week has hired a lawyer to learn more about why officers pulled the trigger, but law enforcement is pointing to the 21-foot rule.

The investigation is still ongoing, but depending on which experts you talk to, some already say they see the shooting that followed a high-speed chase as justified because of a guideline that police officers are trained to use when assessing a threat.

Joe Dutton, a retired Golden Valley police officer and use of force expert, told Fox 9 News studies have proven that when faced with a suspect who is making threats with a knife, an officer won’t have the time to get their gun from a hip-holster and shoot if that suspect is within 21 feet.

The 21-foot rule, also know as the Tueller Drill, cites that an attacker armed with a knife can close an unobstructed gap between himself and an individual armed with a holstered firearm before that individual can draw his firearm. Does that rule apply in this case? I think that’s a valid question that deserves to be investigated.

Setting aside the possibility of the officers lying about the reason they shoot the two we will have to ask whether or not a lesser amount of force could have safely resolved the situation. Several factors could play a part in this. First we know that police officers carry Tasers for situations where force that can be deployed at a distance is necessary. Second we know that the police already had their firearms drawn as they had just shot the first victim. Third judging by the helicopter footage it seems like the police had positioned their squad cars between themselves and the victims.

Does the 21-foot rule apply here? I don’t believe it is so cut and dry. The police already had their firearm drawn and the path between themselves and the victims was not unobstructed. It’s possible that the situation could have been resolved with less force than was deployed, which would likely open the door for a civil case. I think this investigation is warranted and do want to read any report that comes of it.

3 thoughts on “Questions Arise Regarding Shooting on Highway 212”

  1. Tasers are only for wheelchair bound deaf people who threaten police with their aggressive hand gestures known as sign language.

  2. I’ve not seen any video footage or extensive news coverage of this story and even with that I’d still be opened minded as to what’d really happened. When the topic of other means of taking a knife wielding subject into custody one must ask the following questions of those involved.
    Had the involved officers on scene received adequate less lethal training with less lethal weapons or devices? What less lethal equipment was on hand and were the expiration dates for chemical or projectile devices current? Were the officer’s qualification training dates still current? What was the outside weather conditions, time of day and distances involved?
    It comes to this empty hands techniques used against a knife wielding subject are dangerously impudent. Chemical weapons such as tear gas or pepper spray transitioning to empty hands as already mentioned is equally unsafe. A taser is effective but very limited in these type circumstances. Best approach and option would be a less lethal bean bag round fired from a 12 gauge less lethal SG.
    Proper use of a less lethal SG on a knife armed subject can generally achieve the necessary pain compliance to induce said subject to listen to instructions, surrender the weapon and place them into a handcuffing position. Now if your intent is to imply the officers could have or should have talked the suspect into giving up with no one coming to risk or harm?
    Well here it is, I obviously wasn’t there and you weren’t either. I don’t know who was right or wrong but can say this. Cars between them or not the knife armed suspect could quite conceivably have reached and assaulted one of the officers. Would he have done this, or carried it off w/o being shot? I don’t know. Does the public have every right to question this incident? Yes. FWIW I’m a retired LEA with a use of force training background.

    1. I think the questions you have raised are also important to ask, which is why I feel this investigation is a good thing.

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