Suspect Pins Officer and Things Look Bad Until an Armed Citizen Steps In


In the aftermath of a jury determining Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he shot three men, two of them fatally, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during an August 2020 riot, it is helpful to know another instance when the use of deadly force is authorized: in defense of another.

In November 2016, Deputy Dean Bardes of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida engaged in a high-speed chase with suspect Edward Strother, WFTX-TV reported.

Strother had passed by a crash scene on the highway narrowly missing Bardes, which the officer thought was intentional.

The chase ended on an off-ramp near Fort Myers.

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Strother exited his car and attacked Bardes, slamming the deputy to the ground and beating him.

That’s when good Samaritan Ashad Russell arrived on the scene.

He had a concealed-carry permit.

Russell ordered Strother to get off of Bardes several times, but the attacker did not comply.

Russell then shot and killed Strother.

The Florida State Attorney’s Office reviewed the circumstances and determined Russell was “justified in using deadly force when he reasonably believed that the use of such force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to Deputy Dean Bardes or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony upon Deputy Bardes.

“Our agency review is closed and no further action shall be taken by this office based upon the facts presented by this investigation and the applicable law.”

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Then-Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott praised Russell’s actions that day in a statement on Facebook.

“I thank the hero that recognized the imminent threat, rushed to Deputy Bardes’ aid, and ultimately stopped that threat,” Scott said.

“In a day and age where race is a near instant focus for media and other pundits in police incidents,” he added, “the fact is that this hero happens to be a man of color who stopped another man of color from further harming or killing a white cop; thereby reminding us that black lives matter, blue lives matter, and indeed all life matters.”

Acting in self-defense and defense of another are two instances when, under the right circumstances, the use of deadly force is justified.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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