Oh, the media.
It’s no secret that for the most part they’re extremely liberal in their reporting, and that they don’t particularly care for the police.
So it shouldn’t shock me as much as it does when they twist and skew stories, photos, and videos to make an officer look bad. But I just can’t help feeling disappointed.
When they team up with liberal members of the criminal justice system, like district attorneys, for example, there’s no telling how far they’ll go to bring an officer down.
Just look at Lieutenant John Mitchell over in Blackwell, Oklahoma.
Like the police or not, just about any sane person would praise an officer for stopping an active shooter. And yet, Blackwell Police LT Mitchell has been indicted by a grand jury for second degree murder for doing just that.
Read that again: A police officer, who took an oath to protect his community, stopped the threat of an active shooter, saving who knows how many lives, and is now facing 10 years in prison.
I’ll recap the details of the incident in the second half of this article, but first, let’s look at the role the media is playing in this absurdity.
A local CBS-affiliated news station in Oklahoma City, News9, ran a story Monday about the incident involving LT Mitchell. In it, they state that they asked for the dashcam footage from Blackwell PD “multiple times,” but never heard back.
And yet, somehow, they have the footage available, they’ve now shared the footage, and they’ve written in large, white block letters with a bright red background that the video is available “Only On 9.” (Video at bottom of article.)
I’m no mathematician, but that doesn’t add up. A source told me that the video was set to be released to several news outlets this Friday. Clearly, the video was leaked to News9, who took it and ran with it down I Hate Police Road.
The video is posted in two sections within the story. The second, way at the bottom of the page, is the full-length, 24-minute video.
At the top of the page, front and center, that starts playing immediately when the news article is opened, is an edited less-than-3-minute clip.
In the clip, it shows an officer arriving on scene. Everyone involved is out of the camera’s view. Clearly heard is an officer ordering the suspect, Micheal (pronounced Michelle) Godsey, to put her gun down.
Godsey answers, “You first!”
Officers persist in asking her to drop her gun.
She responds, “I said get back in your car and get on back down the road!”
Followed by, “You ain’t putting me in jail bubba.”
Gunshots are heard, but the officers and Godsey are still out of view of the camera. The video cuts to a white truck speeding away from officers, and then cuts to a different dashcam view.
The reporter explains this is Lt Mitchell joining in the pursuit minutes later. She says:
“Lt Mitchell joins the pursuit, firing several shots from several yards down the road.”
The tone of the reporter suggests this action is insane.
What she doesn’t say, but what viewers can clearly see, is that Lt Mitchell at this point has a great line of sight for Godsey. The truck is making a turn onto a road that runs perpendicular to where Lt Mitchell sits in his patrol vehicle.
The backdrop is golden- no other cars to be seen in either direction. He’s shooting an AR-rifle, so “several yards down the road” is pretty ideal.
The vehicle continues driving, seemingly unhindered by the Lt’s shots. He states on the video “Shots fired. I fired at the vehicle. I don’t know if I hit it.”
The backdrop remains safe, and LT passes the unit directly behind Godsey and continues firing at the vehicle through his windshield.
The truck comes to a stop, break lights illuminated. Lt Mitchell is shown as he gets out of his vehicle and walks towards the truck, continuing to fire. Once the rifle is out of rounds, he tosses it to the ground and begins shooting with his pistol.
The break lights on the truck turn off. The video cuts to several officers approaching the truck with their guns up. It looks like Godsey is determined to be deceased at this point, because officers put their weapons down and start walking around the truck.
The video then cuts to officers off camera, with Lt Mitchell saying he put 60 rounds in the truck. He calls for an ambulance. Then he breaks open the driver’s side window with the barrel of his rifle.
Next, the reporter says Lt Mitchell is heard telling the officers “to stay quiet until they’ve got adequate rest.”
The actual wording Lt Mitchell used was:
“We’re not discussing this amongst ourselves, and we’re not talking to anybody for at least three sleep cycles. You guys got that? We don’t talk amongst ourselves; we don’t talk to OSBI, we don’t talk to anybody until we get those sleep cycles in. Alright?”
End of clip.
To a layman, that looks pretty darn incriminating, a lieutenant telling his people to “keep quiet,” as the reporter put it.
However, every single person who is or has ever been in law enforcement or a part of a law enforcement family knows that this is STANDARD PRACTICE.
As a supervisor on scene, it was Lt Mitchell’s duty to remind his officers of the practice. The situation was tense, adrenaline was flowing, and their heart rates were likely elevated, possibly not thinking as clearly as they normally would be.
He’s not telling them that they need to get some type of story straight or anything; he’s trying to make sure the investigation is unhindered and done correctly.
Watching the full video brings the dashcams into split screen. It also adds an interesting piece of information, and kind of a big one:
There is another officer firing at the same time as Lt Mitchell.
Yes, that information has been in the news in the past, but not during this newscast that villainizes Lt Mitchell.
When he stops firing, Lt Mitchell yells, “Cease fire! Cease fire! She may be down; cease fire!” There is nothing in the story about the other involved shooting officer in this incident.
The edited video shows him talking to other officers somewhat nonchalantly after they’ve already approached the vehicle, and then the reporter says this is the point where he is heard telling officers how many rounds he put into the truck.
This makes it seem like the Lt is bragging about how much he shot during the incident, like he’s proud he likely killed a woman.
What Lt actually said before approaching the vehicle with other units was, “I put 60 rounds in that dude, man. Hopefully she’s down.”
This isn’t bragging. This is an officer talking to another officer, giving information, and expressing a hope that they won’t have to engage with the suspect any further. After saying this, he checks with the other officers on scene to make sure they’re armored up and loaded with ammunition, and the officers approach.
Later in the video, it’s discovered that the nonchalant-looking conversation is when the Lt is telling one of his guys to call an ambulance.
Lt Mitchell lead the group as they checked on the condition of the suspect. The officers used a vehicle as rolling cover. An officer is heard saying, “I think she’s down.”
However, these officers aren’t yet certain that the threat has been neutralized. They are still maintaining cover and approaching with caution.
Officers are also heard on this video confirming that Godsey shot at police at least twice. Interestingly, this is also never mentioned in the news story.
After the ambulance is called and the scene is rendered safe for the time being, the Lt launches into an investigation of his officers. He asks if anyone is hurt, tells them to check their arteries. He says, “Everybody do a self-check: armpits; groin; neck. No Blood. Check.”
The reason for this? Also adrenaline. Again, this situation was extremely tense, and it wouldn’t be unheard of for an officer to be shot during an incident like this and not even know it, and the points he mentions are the most vulnerable that aren’t glaringly obvious, below, above, and the gap in the armpit area of the vest.
At this point, right after the self-checks, and while the officers are beginning their investigation, It appears that detectives are arriving on scene.
THIS is when the Lt says the quote above about not talking about the incident until they are able to sleep. He says to his officers that he’s going to tell them now because the detectives will tell them the same thing. Lt Mitchell continues here with, “I know it’s going to be hard not to discuss it between yourselves. But just don’t, alright? Just don’t.”
The detectives approach the involved police and confirm that 2 officers fired rounds at Godsey.
It’s disgusting. News9 knows that no one has the time (or the attention span) to sit in front of their computer and watch 24-minutes of video footage from a police car dashcam.
Hell, even I had to stop myself from scrolling past parts, and I had to watch it for this story. They knew this, and they exploited it.
It’s important to note that Lt. Mitchell has been cleared of any wrong-doing or police or law violations in TWO investigations- one with an independent internal affairs review, and one with Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Now, when LT Mitchell wins his case (which he will, because it’s completely unfounded), ignorant people will riot because they will think, “Well, wait a minute. I watched 2.4 seconds of an edited video where the officer looked clearly to be in the wrong, so why isn’t he being punished?”
Of course, News9 knows that too. That’s exactly what News9 wants. Because they hate the police. And they love ratings.
At the time of this writing, it is unclear why the other officer who shot that night has barely been mentioned and why he isn’t a part of this murder charge. Speculations flood the internet that the district attorney handling the case, Jason Hicks, is trying to “make a name for himself,” and using Lt Mitchell to do just that.
Tuesday, Fraternal Order of Police Oklahoma State President Jason Smith released a statement on News9’s version of the video footage. In it, he says:
“Even with their spin, it showed that he was justified in this use of force. They left out key facts that misrepresent what took place that fateful evening, in saying that an officer was ‘responding to reports of a shots fired call’ is like saying the titanic swerved to miss an ice cube.’”
Smith continued, “Officers responded to the suspect shooting and hitting multiple targets around town. They left out the fact that an innocent by-stander driving on the streets of Blackwell came under fire at the hands of this woman.
She fired on his car with him in it, he escaped only by leaving his vehicle and hiding while he called for police to respond. They left out that she fired upon her own mother only before opening fire on the police officer…”
Smith also made mention of News9 making it appear significant how Lt Mitchell told his officers to sleep before giving statements: “If we would have been contacted at all on this story, we could have explained why Lt Mitchell instructed his officers to wait to be interviewed…one minute of investigation on the internet would have told them that the FBI recommends along with the IACP that:
‘The IACP Police Psychological Services Section recommends delaying personal interviews from 48 to 72 hours in order to provide the officer with sufficient recovery time to help enhance recall. This interval is particularly recommended for officers who were directly involved in the shooting…’”
“…Lt Mitchell used deadly force to stop a person who ‘posed a significant threat of death or serious injury to the officer or others’ (Tennessee vs. Garner), and the FOP is standing behind Lt Mitchell.
“We are standing behind the law, the truth, and the thousands of hard-working law enforcement officers throughout our state who deserve equal and fair justice under the law.”
Now the brief backstory as to why police even encountered Godsey to begin with (which News9 didn’t mention): On May 20, 2019, Blackwell Police Lieutenant John Mitchell responded with other officers (Keith Denton, Jay Brewer, and Kayla Green) to a call of a suspect in a white truck that was firing shots out of the vehicle in multiple locations around town.
When the truck was located by officers, the suspect exchanged gunfire with pursuing police, shooting at them multiple times. A round struck the hood of Officer Denton’s patrol car. According to Lt. Mitchell’s attorney, Gary James, the suspect had also shot at her mother and another citizen during her shooting spree.
This is what the responding officers knew: A suspect in a white truck had fired at people multiple times in multiple locations and was now firing at police. The end. As far as they knew, she had succeeded at murdering her targets or other people and was continuing on to do more damage.
As far as they knew, the suspect was trying to kill the pursuing police (which makes sense, seeing as how she shot at them multiple times during the pursuit; why else would she be firing at them?).
So, reasonably, an officer would be justified in (and, actually, expected to) end the threat any way he can, including shooting and killing her.
Godsey was found to have been hit by gunfire 10 times.
If there is a reason why this is being questioned by a grand jury, it hasn’t been made public.
Lt Mitchel has been with the Blackwell Police Department since 2006. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2009, and to Lieutenant in 2016. He was one of 3 officers out of 2 counties that was selected for the 8th District Attorney’s Multi-County Major Crimes Unit/Drug Task Force since 2014 and has served there since 2014.
He was voted the best law enforcement officer in Kay County by readers of Blackwell Journal Tribune and received the President’s Excellence Award for Rural Drug Enforcement in August of this year. He has received numerous other awards and accolades for his police work.
He is married with 2 kids, and is active in his community, including coaching baseball and football.
The day after his indictment, Lt Mitchell was recognized as an honorary member of the VFW for his work with veterans causes.
Another interesting tidbit pertaining to this case is that DA Hicks who is so adamantly trying to obtain a murder charge for stopping an active shooter is the same DA who got ridiculously low sentences for Keith Kinnunen. Kinnunen, if you’ll recall, was the shooter in the West Freeway Church of Christ incident that occurred in Texas last weekend. When Kinnunen lived in OK, he received 90 days for assault with a deadly weapon, and 1 year for 3rd degree arson under DA Hicks.
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