Video of Oklahoma Pastor Pushing Police Officer Before Deadly Shooting Emerges

Nehemiah and Laura Fischer
Nehemiah and Laura Fischer

Nehemiah Blessed Fischer may have been named after a prophet, but he died in less than holy circumstances.

A video released Monday by Oklahoma Highway Patrol shows Fischer, an associate pastor at a local Tulsa church, pushing a trooper moments before he was shot on Friday.

For authorities, the video is proof that Fischer started the scuffle that ended in his death. For the Fischer family, it’s an uncomfortable but unavoidable epitaph to an otherwise “god-fearing man.”

And for everyone else, it’s a reminder of the dramatic impact of video cameras on law enforcement at a time of increased scrutiny of police shootings around the country.

[Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide]

Fischer died Friday night on a country road about 20 miles outside of Tulsa. He and his older brother, Brandon, had been fishing and doing repairs on their father’s farm when heavy rains caused waist-high flash floods. The brothers’ truck became stuck in a ditch. When someone, perhaps a passerby, called police, two highway patrolmen responded to the scene to help.

But what was supposed to be a roadside rescue quickly became a fatal altercation.

[A tragic end to a ‘blessed life after Okla. roadside rescue goes wrong]

Officials claimed that Fischer, upset over being ordered to leave the truck behind, had attacked the officer. “As they were exiting the water, coming towards the troopers, a confrontation occurred and one of the troopers was actually assaulted,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons told CNN Sunday. “And in defense of himself, he fired.”

The family responded with disbelief.

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Source: The Washington Post | Michael E. Miller

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