A police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing after he shot a man who pulled a knife on him last week.
Glendale Police Officer Joshua Hilling had seen the man walking down a busy highway when he stopped to ask what he was doing. The man, Javier Pablo Aleman, had no identification on him – just a bag with dirty clothes, The Washington Post reports.
Body camera footage shows what happens next.
When Officer Hilling told Aleman he was going to pat him down for ‘officer safety’, Aleman pulled out a knife and lunged towards him, threatening to kill the officer and shouting ‘kill me’ more than 40 times.
Skip to 0:28 if you want to see the action:
At this point it’s clear that the man wasn’t backing down and wanted to commit ‘suicide by cop’.
But in a refreshing twist for American police, Officer Hilling restrained from shooting the man for as long as he could, and when he did, it was only to harm and not to kill.
Officials in Ohio have announced that Hilling won’t be charged in the March 29 shooting, and instead, Aleman will be charged with attempted murder.
Officer Hilling didn’t know at the time, but Aleman was a fugitive wanted by police for a homicide, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said at a news conference: “Joshua Hilling deserves a medal for what he did.”
He described the officer as ‘one brave individual’ and said: “He showed remarkable restraint involving the confrontation of an individual who was clearly armed.”
In a country where guns are used by police without thinking, it’s refreshing to hear a story of an officer who doesn’t want to skip straight to violence.
In 2015 alone, police in the U.S. shot and killed more than 1,000 civilians – with many of these being unarmed.