DAVIDSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — The mother of one of the teen suspects charged in the death of Hendersonville Police Officer Spencer Bristol says the chase should have been called off for safety reasons.
Police say that Aleshia Rucker's son, Emani Martin, was the passenger in the vehicle that Officer Bristol was chasing. Investigators said after a tire blew on the driver's car, Martin ran across I-65 near Vietnam Veterans Boulevard. Officer Bristol chased after him, and was hit and killed by a random driver.
Rucker feels the pursuit was dangerous, and that the reckless homicide charge against her son is unfair. "I don’t feel it’s right, and he’s not being treated fairly," Rucker said.
Rucker believes her son did not mean for the officer to die.
"I’m sorry he’s gone," Rucker said. "He had no business running after this 19-year-old child, he could have called it off, got dogs, helicopters, the whole force if they wanted to find Emani. He couldn’t have gotten away that fast in that area."
On Tuesday, a judge in Davidson County dismissed the reckless homicide charge against the driver, identified as Kevin Jordan. After watching video of the incident and listening to witnesses, the judge said there was insufficient evidence to charge Jordan since he surrendered. However, Rucker's 19-year-old son is still facing that reckless homicide charge.
Rucker said that in other jurisdictions, chases are called off when they're not safe. "I mean high speed chase, interstate, other cars, I don’t understand why would they keep on with the pursuit if they’re putting other people in jeopardy," Rucker said.
The Hendersonville Police Department can't comment on the situation as the case is also pending in Sumner County court.
Rucker believes her son ran from police because he was scared. She said her life has fallen apart since her son's arrest as she's a single mom who leaned on him for support. "Me and my kids are now homeless because of this situation," Rucker said.
As court proceedings play out, Rucker is still wondering if the reckless homicide charge against Emani Martin will stand. "He shouldn’t have ran across the interstate for him," Rucker said.
The Hendersonville Police Department has a police pursuit policy which they say follows case law.
UPDATE: After the story aired, the Fraternal Order of Police in Hendersonville issued a statement: