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Video released showing suspect shooting two Tulsa police officers — killing one — during routine traffic stop

A Tulsa County district judge ordered video footage released this week that shows two officers being shot by a suspect during a routine traffic stop that left one officer dead.

The footage is extremely graphic, and some authorities have condemned its release, but Judge William Musseman determined that the public has the right to see what exactly happened during the horrific traffic stop that occurred in June.

What are the details?

KWTV-TV reported on Monday that Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin held a news conference using slides and describing key parts of what happened after Officer Aurash Zarkeshan stopped convicted felon David Ware — who had expired tags, no driver’s license and no proof of insurance — and Sgt. Craig Johnson responded to the stop on June 29.

Ware’s attorney argued that parts of the original affidavit against his client were inaccurate, and that Ware was “painted in the worst light,” according to the outlet.

Ware, 33, is currently awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder, drug possession with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, the StarTribune reported. He scheduled to appear in court Oct. 5.

Franklin argued that the video footage should only be shown in a courtroom but released it at the judge’s request. During Franklin’s description of what happened, he noted, “Our officers gave more than 40 commands — 40 times they asked him to exit that vehicle before they used any type of force. Seven times [the suspect] was warned before he was ‘tased.'”

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum (R) released a statement on the video suggesting, “If you do not have to watch this video for your job, don’t watch it.”

He added, “I have to watch a lot of body camera footage as part of my job. I can only think of two times in my life — upon the death of family members — when I wept like I did watching the conclusion of this video. It is terrible.”

TheBlaze viewed the video, which was posted by TexAgs. It is graphic and extremely “disturbing,” as the site describes. The footage shows the suspect refusing officers’ repeated commands and arguing with them.

For several minutes, the officers pleaded with Ware to exit his car. Eventually, they deployed a Taser on him and thereafter used pepper spray in an effort to get him to comply. Finally, the officers tried to pry Ware out of the vehicle, and the suspect is then seen pulling out a firearm and firing several times, striking both officers.

Sgt. Johnson later died from his injuries and Officer Zarkeshan was critically injured.

TheBlaze‘s Jessica O’Donnell wrote on Twitter, “This is what [officers] face on a daily basis. Tasers and pepper spray often don’t work. Remember this scene when you are quick to condemn officers in escalating situations.”

Amy Swearer, a legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, compiled a list of scenarios in a Twitter thread showing several other instances where officers were shot during traffic stops, saying those cases “flashed through [her] mind,” after watching the video of Zarkeshan and Johnson’s traffic stop.

“This matters,” Swearer wrote. “I’m tired of people pretending that every police shooting victim is Breonna Taylor sleeping innocently in her bed. I’m tired of a one-sided conversation on policing where the civilian’s actions aren’t scrutinized, or the officer’s legitimate fears acknowledged.”

This writer’s perspective

This writer remembers when an idol of hers — Officer Molly Bowden, whom she met at 4-H camp at the age of 12, was killed 15 years ago after being shot by a man during a routine traffic stop.

Bowden, 26, pulled over a vehicle driven by Richard Evans, 23, on Jan. 10, 2005, in Columbia, Missouri.

The Columbia Police Department reported:

[Bowden] was initially shot and wounded in the shoulder. As she retreated to the rear of the suspect’s vehicle for cover, the suspect exited and shot her in the neck. After she fell to the ground, the suspect shot at her two more times, striking her in the neck again.

The following morning, the suspect shot and wounded a second Columbia officer who was staking out his mother’s home. The suspect then committed suicide.

Officer Bowden eventually succumbed to her injuries one month later. Her end of watch was Feb. 10, 2005.

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Why Sleep Is VITAL During A Pandemic

With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been many who have suggested a good night’s sleep as a way to boost your immune system to protect you from the infection.  Sleep is vital, and there are several reasons why.

Your body needs an adequate amount of sleep to fight of infections. That included the coronavirus. If you are losing sleep because of fear (and it’s hard not to when the mainstream media is pumping it out right now 24/7) you aren’t doing your body any favors. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold (rhinovirus). Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

Six (More) Reasons to Get Better Quality Sleep

We are still going to get sick once this pandemic is in our past. We cannot live out lives apart and inside our homes for the remainder of humanity’s existence, so at some point, we all need to do our best to keep ourselves healthy.

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. –Mayo Clinic

Aim to get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep at night.  More isn’t necessarily better either.  Poor sleep for 10 hours is still not as effective at boosting the immune system as 7 hours of good quality sleep (meaning you stay asleep and don’t toss and turn or wake up frequently at night).

There are some natural solutions to help with your sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can do the following:

  1. Minimize Light and Sound.  By using curtains to eliminate light and shutting down anything that makes noise, you’ll be able to sleep better.  Darkness causes your brain to release melatonin for a calming, sleepy effect. That means, don’t expose your eyes to too much light such as that of a smartphone or the TV right before you go to bed.
  2. Stick To A Routine.  Make a schedule and stick to it, even on the weekends. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day to make sure your body gets into a routine that works for you.
  3. Keep Your Stress Levels Low.  Try to not stress out as much during the day.  Use meditation or prayer if it helps you create a sense of calm.  You can also simply turn off the news.  The mainstream media is in a state of panic and fear right now and that’s creating a public that’s emulating those same emotions. Don’t let others dictate how much stress you have. Anxiety and worry are sleep disrupters. 

All of this is easier said than done right now while the globe is battling a pandemic. But it’s important to understand just how vital it is to decrease your fears and worry.  Panicking and consuming fear-mongering media all day can be catastrophic for your immune system, and as preppers, we need to understand how best to protect ourselves, and not just fall victim to our fears.

Simple Prepper Hacks To AVOID Getting The Flu

Hopefully, this will help all of us to get a better night’s sleep and have a better chance when it comes to fighting off all infections.  For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website or talk to your healthcare provider.

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