Watch: Footage shows police in late-night mall confrontation

Dan Abrams Live

An encounter between two officers from the Riverside, California, Police Department and two men in a Honda Pilot parked after hours in the parking lot of a shopping center was the basis for a Police Cam segment on “Dan Abrams Live.”

The two officers were flagged down by a shopping center security guard and alerted to the two men in the SUV. The officers spied a drug pipe in the Pilot and asked the occupants of the vehicle to step out. At that point, the driver, Jason White, who was on probation on a drug conviction, put the SUV in reverse, hitting both officers with the open doors of the vehicle. The officer on the driver’s side was slammed into the police cruiser so hard that it damaged the police vehicle, and the badge was ripped from his shirt.

Both officers opened fire, hitting White as he shifted into drive and slammed into another parked vehicle. The passenger surrendered, was detained and ultimately not charged.

White was taken to a hospital. He’s facing charges including assault with a deadly weapon against an officer, evading police and hit-and-run.

The officer who was driven into the cruiser was hospitalized and has recovered. The other officer was treated at the scene.

Two guns, several extra clips and boxes of bullets were found in the suspect’s vehicle.

Riverside police Lt. Chad Milby, who oversees investigations on use-of-force incidents in the department and is also a police academy instructor who teaches tactics and active-shooter response, discussed the incident with Abrams.

The officers “know there’s a high likelihood that there is potentially some type of criminal activity going on inside this vehicle,” Milby said. “Whenever we approach an occupied vehicle, whether it be a traffic stop or just a vehicle that’s stopped in this case, it’s one of the most dangerous situations that an officer can walk into. There’s a lot of unknowns.”

Milby cited “pre-force indicators,” little clues that can tip off police to possible trouble. In this case, he said, White leaned forward and took a look at the position of the officer on the passenger side of the vehicle, sizing up the situation before taking action. This, Milby said, was a tell that the driver was going to take action.

Milby also cited the officers’ adapting to the changing situation. After White had been shot, they took what he called a “tactical pause” rather than charging ahead and continuing to fire on White.

Milby praised the officers’ overall grasp of the circumstances with which they were presented.

“We train our officers to have good situational awareness. They have to pay attention to what’s going on, not only to what’s going on inside the vehicle, but everything that’s going on outside the vehicle.”

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