The officers challenged him,” Deputy Chief Jones said of Saturday’s shooting. “The officers talked to him, they tried to get him to drop the gun.”
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Giorgio Minnis was taken into custody Saturday after allegedly stealing his uncle’s car and driving it to another family member’s home.
The Memphis Police Department said officers arrived at a Hickory Hill apartment complex where it was reported that Minnis threatened to harm people inside the home, including a child.
After ABC24 reported the story, many wondered how a man who shot a police officer ended up not being shot, but was taken into safe custody unharmed.
MPD said while every call is different, the main thing agents are trained to look for is compliance.
The suspect, according to police, first fired the shots at a party.
“He was also walking armed in the wooded area,” Deputy Chief Shawn Jones said. “The officers challenged him. The officers talked to him, they tried to get him to drop the gun.
Jones said when officers responded, they were initially unaware the suspect had a weapon on him.
“We started talking to him, our emergency response workers were there talking to him and trying to get him out, get him out at five,” Jones detailed. “They managed to subdue him, I would say, but not before they could shoot one of our officers.
Jones added that officers worked to get the suspect to comply. The use of lethal force is a final option, according to Deputy Chief Jones.
“We gave him verbal orders several times to try to get him to disarm, drop the gun,” Jones detailed. “They tackled him to the ground and disarmed him in that process. It could have been a situation because he unloaded on officers twice. Our officers could have unloaded their firearms, but they maintained the firearm restraint.”
According to Jones, it was restraint that worked in everyone’s interest – those with badges and plainclothes.
Jones, who has 35 years of law enforcement experience, said proper training is key.
“We have about 4 classes minimum from a public trust standpoint, from a 21st century policing standpoint that we try to teach all of our recruits, on how to interact with the public. We don’t want to be seen as an occupying force.”
Then, in many minds, there are other instances in Memphis where the MPD used deadly force, resulting in the death of a citizen.
“You have to be on the officer’s mind when dealing with this particular situation where he may choose to use force,” Jones replied. “I don’t want to guess what anyone may have done.”
ABC24’s Rebecca Butcher asked Jones if it’s normal for people to be injured or killed at the hands of the police.
“In general, I would say that no one, no police officer leaves their home every day,” he said. “When we put on our belts, we don’t do it with the intention of thinking that we’re going to have to hurt someone. That’s not the intention, however, a handgun is provided to us as a tool. Because ‘there are situations where we may have to defend ourselves or others.”
On de-escalation training, activists said they want more from police when it comes to transparent conversations about community issues and dealing with officers.
Whatever the solution, they said it would take patience and understanding to rectify the root causes.