A little more than three years later, the dashcam video of Airman Michael Edwards being shot by Opelika, Ala., police officer Phillip Hancock on Interstate 85 has now been released to the public.
A call came into the Opelika Police Department on the night of March 6, 2014 about an erratic driver on Interstate 85. Officer Phillip Hancock responded to the call. Davidson got into a minor accident with a tractor trailer where Davidson swiped the back of the tractor trailer.
The tractor trailer and Davidson pulled over on the side of the road to exchange information. Officer Hancock arrives on the scene and pulled up behind Davidson’s car and had his headlights and spotlight on the vehicle and exits his vehicle. One of Davidson’s attorney’s, Brian Mosholder said that his client was parked on a downslope, which made it difficult for him to get the door open.
“It’s very obvious from that part of the video that Officer Hancock is creating a situation that he wished had happened that would have justified this shooting,” Mosholder said. “When you look at the video, none of that happened. When you look at the video, in less than six seconds, from the time Michael Davidson opens his door, Officer Hancock shoots him, and he shoots him for absolutely no reason.”
[Publisher’s Note: Decisions made in the blink of the eye are much tougher than they look with the benefit of hindsight. The officer is obviously distraught, and now the whole country will give an opinion despite the court ruling in the officer’s favor. That said, the video is an opportunity to have discussions about use of force and decision-making.]