Samantha Ramsey, a 19-year-old from Hebron, Kentucky, was shot dead by police early Saturday morning while attempting to leave a party after she reportedly refused an officer's demand to stop and wound up hitting the deputy with her vehicle.
A 46-minute police dash cam video of the incident was released on Monday and published online by WLWT-TV
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The dash cam video appeared to show Ramsey attempting to drive past Boone County Sheriff's Deputy Tyler Brockman, who proceeded to pursue her on foot out of camera view. The video did not show Ramsey allegedly ram the officer with her vehicle, propelling him on the hood of her car, leading the deputy to fire four rounds though her windshield.
Police had reportedly been called to the scene on reports of an accident at the field party, where some 30 to 40 teens were partying around two bonfires along the Ohio River, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported
. Underage drinking was reportedly taking place at the field party.
"There's no need to pull a gun and shoot somebody,” Brittany Benton, a friend of Ramsey's, told local WLWT-TV. "They could have shot the tire, they could have looked at the license plate, reported it in, they could have done anything else bedside shoot somebody."
In contrast, Ed Bridgeman, University of Cincinnati Clermont College professor of criminal justice with 28 years of law enforcement experience, argued that the 27-yer-old deputy's split-second decision could have been justified, comparing Ramsey's car to a potential "12-gauge shotgun."
"If a car drives toward you, that is a threat of deadly force," Bridgeman told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "That is the same as someone pointing a 12-gauge shotgun at you and cocking the hammer back. You got 2,000 pounds of steel coming at you."
"How many of the world's scariest videos have you seen on TV of police officers standing by the side of the road when somebody whacks them, their car, the car they got stopped – and everyone goes flying in the air," Bridgeman added. "That is a very, very real concern."
According to Boone County Sheriff's spokesman Tom Scheben, all deputies that find themselves in such a situation are trained to "protect themselves first" when a driver accelerates toward them.
While the Ramsey family has yet to comment on the shooting, their attorney Gary Franke released a statement to the Cincinnati Enquirer on their behalf.
"Naturally, the family is still going through the grieving process. They are asking for prayers, not only for them, but for the officer involved," the statement read.
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