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1386 2 months ago
1386 2 months ago
New body camera footage from the Toledo Police Department shows the tense moments leading up to an officer-involved shooting early Monday morning near Monroe and Bancroft streets.
It started just after midnight in Frenchtown Township when 50-year-old Michael Clifton fired a gun.
Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough says one of Clifton's relatives called 911.
"Michigan State Police arrived just ahead of our patrol car, ascertained some information that there was the offender had fled in a black pick-up truck," Goodnough said.
That's when Clifton led officers on a nearly 20-minute car chase.
TPD joined when the chase fed into Toledo.
The suspect then crashed before walking toward Bancroft Street with a gun to his head as Sgt. Joe Okos tried to talk him down.
"This is something we can figure out," Okos can be heard saying on the body camera recording.
But after a few minutes, TPD Chief George Kral says Clifton started threatening to point his gun at the officers surrounding him.
"He says, 'I'm going to start it here and I'm going to go across and I'm going to go point it this way, so when it starts coming around,' meaning towards the officers, 'you let me know when — you guys let me know when,'" Kral described.
And after apologizing to officers, Clifton eventually raises his gun, saying, "I don't want it to be on your conscience, so please forgive me. Don't hate me, but we gotta do this. We gotta do this."
"This can be fixed. Michael? Don't, Michael. Don't," Okos said.
Seven officers between TPD and MSP fired a total of 53 rounds at Clifton.
He ended up not firing any.
"We're trained to fire our weapons until the threat is done, and in their minds, they fired until they thought the threat was done," Kral explained.
Kral doesn't know if Clifton had a mental health diagnosis, but says about a month ago, they received a report that Clifton had a gun to his head, and his daughter nearby.
Responding officers didn't find anything, but took him to St. Charles Hospital for help.
"I think by seeing the video, hearing what was said by him himself, this was — now I hate coining things, but this is suicide by cop if there ever was one."
TPD will now conduct their own internal investigation and present it to the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office.
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