Texas Police Officer Suspended After Reportedly Firing 41 Shots and Killing Unarmed Suspect

In Texas, Garland Officer Patrick Tuter reportedly fired 41 rounds at an unarmed man last month after a collision with the truck of Michael Vincent Allen (shown left). Now it appears that a dash-cam video contradicts what the police department first said in the case. Moreover, a witness has charged that police officers confiscated his phone and erased a video and pictures of the scene.

The confrontation occurred around midnight on August 31st after Tuter identified the white GMC pickup as the one involved in a prior chase with police. Joined by Dallas County sheriff’s deputies, Tuter pursued the truck for 30 minutes at speeds up to 100 mph and finally caught up to Allen in a cul-de-sac. Police claimed Allen collided with Tuter but the opposite appears true. Allen died with gunshot wounds and dog bites from a police dog.

Yet, Tuter’s attorney, John Snider, insists that the new information does not change the justification for force: “At some point, while trying to prevent the suspect from making an escape, Officer Tuter did feel in fear for his life and was justified in firing his weapon.”

Tuter’s 41 rounds, however, means that he had to reload and resume firing. No gun was found on Allen.

Allen was no angel to be sure, He had a long criminal record of arrests. However, the justification of not just the use of lethal force but the number of bullets has raised questions over the police response. There has long been a controversy over the use of semi-automatic weapons with large clips of ammunition. Critics charge that officers now fire more rounds and sometimes endanger both bystanders and fellow officers — as suggested in the recent shooting of pedestrians by police in New York.

One witness says that he took cellphone pictures and video of the scene but police confiscated the phone and deleted the video and pictures. The phone was returned four days later without the photos.
We have been discussing the trend of officers arresting citizens who film them in public. The alleged destruction of these photos raises obviously serious concerns over the destruction of evidence to protect a fellow officer. There also remains the question if it was Tuter who gave the false account of Allen hitting his car.

Tuter is reportedly on suspension. Yet, these allegations raise questions about his fellow officers, particularly with the destruction of the witness’ photos.

Source: Dallas News

40 thoughts on “Texas Police Officer Suspended After Reportedly Firing 41 Shots and Killing Unarmed Suspect”

  1. OK, you know, you can see a constant diet of these insane adrenalin/testosterone orgies on TV and in the movies — high speed chases every 90 seconds, pedestrians and other drivers magically FLYING out of the way beeping their non-human irrelevant protests as the good guys chase down the bad guys and shoot-em-up and one of the good guys always takes a bullet in the shoulder or a coupla headslams to make it all work and so forth. Even kids see this crap on a daily basis and play video games exalting it like a good Little League game. Damn! The problem is that when we were watching the spaghetti westerns, we weren’t all wearing cowboy hats and ridin’ around on our trusty steeds and carryin’ our six-shooters. BUT NOW we are who we see on the screen and damn it, why NOT just go all out and DO IT MAN and get them punks and show’em what ferr?

    We are dangerous to ourselves and others.

  2. Can “he deserved it” be the first tale I was told as a child. Got a swig out of a jelly glass to wash it down with.

    “Minors, what’s that? He can stand on his own two feet, can’t he. Here, take another swig, boy.”

  3. 41 shots shows firing and reloading. Dog bites show backup. This is probably a manslaughter offense, done by an angry officer who had to chase the truck down. Whether he is ever charged or convicted is hard to say it being Texas, since no doubt the slain man’s reputation is being emphasized and the “rugged individualists” in Texas will think he had it coming anyway.

    As for the erasure of evidence, this common occurrence these days requires
    laws that penalize those LEO’s who do it. Fat chance though. I’ve driven through, or stayed in every State in the Continental U.S. except for Texas and Oklahoma and stories like this are why that’s the case.

  4. The person who took the videos SAW what happened. The video would be nice, but the witness can testify at the murder trial of the pig. The Law Engorcement Offenders defendants would be those who disposed of the camera photos as well as all in the shooting and cover-up. Why cant we all get along?

  5. Waldo, good point on examining the situation and your other observations are valid, I would add, there was no return fire. I heard a quote from some legendary (aren’t they all) Texas Ranger who it was said carried the traditional “six shooter” something like, a large magazine is no substitute for poor shooting.

    As to my second point above another legal question. Are the police within their rights to sieze evidence from a third party (uninvolved) at a crime scene without a warrant to preserve the evidence?

  6. mespo, You’re correct, the Texas Rangers and maybe the FBI in a case like this. This isn’t some cop looking @ women’s boobs. And although tangential, the high speed chase is a real pet peeve of mine. They’re potentially much more dangerous for innocent bystanders and too often just testosterone run amuck.

  7. Waldo:

    how many clips in a cops 9mm? 7, 10, 14? At minimum it is 2 reloads at maximum 5. It could all be done in about 20 seconds or less if it was only 2 reloads.

  8. I have never understood why a police department gets to investigate itself when a crime is alleged. Surely Texas has its own statewide police force, a la the Texas Rangers, who can provide an independent examination of the before the affected cops get to collect the evidence they deem important. maybe we need a unit of the FBI to handle these investigations.

  9. Andy, I don’t think you can say 41 shots shows poor marksmanship unless you know the circumstances, such as distance, size of target, target moving, shooter moving, etc. The important thing about 41 shots to me is that it takes some time to fire that many shots and requires re-loading. That makes it difficult to envision how the shooting was justified since the victim was unarmed. I mean, if the guy charged him, how do you have enough time to shoot 41 times? and if the guy isn’t trying to close with him, how do you reasonably fear for your life? As to deleting pics or video, I don’t see how that can possibly be justified, if true. I predict cops say either that it didn’t happen or pics didn’t show anything.

  10. When did spoiliation of evidence become part of police procedure? Oh wait….never mind.

  11. First, are there any standards for marksmanship? Forty-one rounds does not suggest proficiency.

    Second, for the lawyers, if the police copied the images and retained them for prosecution are they justified in keeping them from the public until action is taken? Related, are they justified for deleting them from the device before returning it to prevent their public exposure having a negative impact on a prosecution?

    Yes, I realize that the above may not be the real world but I still believe in honor and integrity.

  12. Unfortunately, police in Texas have a long history or criminal activity and impunity. Even if it gets to a jury, I predict that in Garland, Texas, the cop will walk with no conviction on any charges. I would only be surprised if he doesn’t get a medal or commendation from the city. That is why I stay out of north Texas as much as I can.

  13. It is difficult for these type psychopaths to stop firing when they are having an orgasm and yelling whoopeee !!!!

    It’s the pig going down the road on a skateboard syndrome …

  14. The deputies who allegedly destroyed the evidence are going to be a a world of jeopardy if Officer Tutter is charged with Manslaughter in this death because I would opin they could be viewed as Accessories after the Fact and be guilty of rendering criminal assistance for the manslaughter.

  15. He should be fired from the force. Whomever was involved in confiscating the citizen’s phone and erasing the property of that citizen should also be fired and charged with obstruction of justice and theft.

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