Lee County, Kentucky – A white police officer in Lee County, Kentucky has been fired for not using lethal force on an unarmed black man.
Ten-year veteran officer Pete Dobbs and his partner responded to a 911 call about a suspicious black man walking down Marion St. at 2:13am on Monday night. Upon arriving on the scene the pair witnessed an African American man, Trevor Whitmore walking down the street in a largely white neighborhood.
Five other police cruisers arrived shortly thereafter and a total of 11 officers pulled their service revolvers and took aim at Whitmore. This where things went wrong according to the police captain, Ron Weathers. Rather than opening fire on the man, Dobbs broke protocol and engaged the man in a conversation.
Dobbs asked where the man was going and he stated he was looking for a gas station or a phone as his car had broken down 3 blocks away. An officer asked for some ID and as Whitmore reached into his pocket. Dobbs’ partner attempted to taze the unsuspecting man but Dobbs interceded. Another officer yelled out, “Take him down”, but Dobbs stepped in again.
Upon confirming his identity and that the car was indeed his, Dobbs called a tow truck.
According to Lee County protocols engaging in a conversation and calling a tow truck were both violations of standard police procedure.
Captain Weathers had this to say, “Officer Dobbs is a good man but he was in total violation of our procedures. He had to be fired. What if that man had been armed or a criminal? We find it’s much safer for our officers if they just shoot first.”