Clinton police officer shoots fleeing suspect’s tires

Posted Oct. 20, 2010, at 9:23 a.m.

CLINTON, Maine — The Maine Attorney General’s office is investigating a case in which a Clinton police officer shot out the tires of a moving vehicle.

Attorney General spokeswoman Nicole Sacre says the investigation is standard whenever a police officer uses deadly force.

Few details of the Monday shooting have been released. No one was injured.

Police say 30-year-old Jessica Rood of Clinton was arrested following the incident. She’s facing a variety of charges, including driving under the influence and reckless conduct.

Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said Tuesday that “it’s very unusual” to see a case in which a police officer shoots out the tires of a moving vehicle. The tactic is considered “outdated,” Liberty said, and the more common approach is for police to coordinate the setup of spike mats on the road to stop a vehicle.

“The practice, generally speaking, of shooting out tires or warning shots is discouraged and prohibited,” Liberty said. “It’s the use of deadly force. And in order to use deadly force, officers have to be protecting a third party or themselves.”

The Morning Sentinel says Clinton Police Chief Craig Johnson wouldn’t release the name of the officer who fired the shots.

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