Florida Trooper Fires Nine Rounds in Retirement Center Area After His Car Is Innocently Bumped — But Is Given Only One Week Suspension

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was given only a one-week suspension without pay after he fired nine rounds at a vehicle that bumped his cruiser. In the incident caught on this videotape, Trooper Timothy E. Nichols was responding to a call about a man suspected of stealing two bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches from a Palm Harbor gas station. However, an investigation showed that (as indicated on the video) the driver was innocently backing up his SUV when the bumping of the cruiser occurred — triggering Nichols’ shower of bullets.

Agency director John T. Czernis ruled that the force was obviously excessive, but only saw fit to suspend the officer.

When Nichols caught up with Magdi Kanaan, 22, in a parking area and Kanaan put his SUV in reverse, bumping Nichols’ cruiser. Nichols is heard screaming, “He just backed into my car.” He then fired nine rounds at the SUV in the retirement center area.

Highway Patrol internal affairs investigators determined Kanaan was simply trying to park. Czernis wrote ‘[y]our recollection of the events contradicts the evidence on the videotape from your patrol car.”

Nichols later admitted that events may not have occurred as he initially recollected.

Since Nichols started work with the department on Sept. 10, 2001, he has been orally reprimanded, counseled or cited at least eight times according to press reports — including two incidents of crashing into cars of citizens.

The question remains why there is not a more substantial punishment for an officer who (the internal affairs report) fires his weapon in a retirement center after a man innocently bumps his car.

Source: Tampa Bay

24 thoughts on “Florida Trooper Fires Nine Rounds in Retirement Center Area After His Car Is Innocently Bumped — But Is Given Only One Week Suspension”

  1. Jessica, you are loyal to your husband and that is admirable. However, I work in the area of law enforcement and am more than passing familiar with firearms as well as “rules of engagement” when using deadly force.

    One of the first things an officer is supposed to learn when going to the range for the first time, is to always be aware of what is downrange from his line of fire. Always. No exceptions. This is taught in all gun safety courses as Rule #1 in civilian, law enforcement and military training. There is a professional term for it, called “situational awareness.”

    I don’t care if the person trying to get away was Osama bin Laden himself, there was no reason to fire a single shot, let alone multiple shots, in the direction of the senior citizen’s facility.

    Jessica, I am the guy in my area they send officers to see after such an incident. Not knowing all the details, I cannot and will not make an assessment of the incident, but suffice it to say that had I been doing your husband’s debriefing, he would have been damn glad to get out of my office when I got through.

  2. This story was about my husband…he has been a Trooper for 10 years and that was the first time he had ever discharged his firearm other than at the range. He is an excellent Trooper and a wonderful father to our 4 children. He has also trained countless Troopers in his career. Since you apparently don’t know the facts, allow me to fill you in. He was sitting in the parking lot in his marked car with an Auxillary Trooper drinking coffee and talking, waiting for rush hour to start. The clerk came running out of the store screaming that she had just been ROBBED and that the guy was in “that car” as she pointed in the direction of the scumbag. My husband pursued him, lights and sirens and he refused to stop. Remeber, he has no idea if this guy is armed, but seeing as though he just “robbed” the place, he is assuming that he is armed. He finally drove into the retirement community parking lot and attempted to pull into a parking spot, but realized that he wasn’t going to be able to hide. He claimed in his taped interview that he saw my husband standing there, he heard my husband demand that he exit the vehicle, an in an attempt to get away he gunned it in reverse because all he was thinking is that he wanted to get away. He tried to hit my husband, the father of my children. This guy had been arrested over a dozen times before for various crimes, and was even arrested again within a month of his release. His arrest record filled 6 pages. But you didn’t mention any of that….because cops are horrible people, until you need them. They risk their lives for very little pay and take shit from uninformed idiots like you that crave attention and the only way you can get it is to eloborate on stories and not care who you hurt in the process.

  3. where is this country heading?

    Cops are supposed to protect us from the criminals, but who protects us from the cops?

    All these bad apples need to be made examples of, not be given a slap in the wrist and set loose on society.

  4. Pete:

    I see nightly stories about Florida, I wouldnt live there if paid to.

    Crazy Crackers down there.

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