GRAPHIC: Dash Cam Video Released In Officer-Involved Shooting

Thursday, February 5th 2015, 7:02 pm
By: News 9

A deputy-involved shooting unfolds in front of a patrol car dash camera.

The dash cam video released Thursday afternoon showed a routine traffic stop that quickly escalated.

It was around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, January 30th when Dover police chief responded to several calls of a possible drunk driver on Highway 81.

Authorities said 37-year-old Steven Smith appeared to be intoxicated. A Kingfisher County Deputy was called in for backup.

When the officers asked Smith to step out of his car, authorities said he brandished a knife.

"Why would any citizen, under any circumstance, get out of a vehicle with a knife in his right hand ?," Gary James, a prominent Oklahoma City defense attorney said.

James has also represented law enforcement in nearly 100 officer-involved shootings and reviewed the dash cam video to provide analysis for News9.

"It's pretty logical to assume they are telling him to drop the weapon, drop the weapon. He's not complying," James said.

There is no sound on the recording but reports indicated officers made numerous demands for Smith to drop the knife.

Despite repeated commands, authorities said Smith refused to drop the knife.

James said law enforcement is taught to consider someone a potential danger if they are holding a knife within 20 feet of an officer.

"He's moving toward him and within five feet of him with a knife," James said it appears Smith also reached into his left pocket," that a potential danger for an officer."

The video shows Smith take a couple of steps toward the officers. The knife is not visible at the time but authorities said Smith made a threatening gesture toward the officers.

In that moment, the deputy shot Smith twice in the chest.

"He no doubt made two steps toward that deputy sheriff, I think it's a clearly justified shooting," James said based on a review of only the video.

James said several other factors are considered in reviewing the use of force. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is still reviewing the case.

At last check, Smith is listed in good condition at a local hospital.