Another Questionable Police Shooting of a White Person: Joshua Grubb

Thought Front is continuing its series of white people fatally shot by police on questionable grounds, in order to quell claims that these cases are ignored.

Yet another case was Joshua William Grubb, who was fatally shot in March in Lenoir City, Tennessee.

Officer Tyrel Lorenz responded to a 911 call of three people in a pickup truck who seemed to be under the influence of something. Lorenz approached the three while they were pumping gas. He began to arrest one passenger for public intoxication, when Grubb got in the truck and began to drive off.

Officer Lorenz told Grubb to stop, but when that did not work he jumped onto the bed of the pickup truck and continued ordering Grubb to stop. Instead, Grubb accelerated and drove onto the highway, at which point Lorenz shot him nine times from the bed of the truck.

The truck drove in the wrong lane into oncoming traffic before crashing into a utility pole. It is not clear if the driving became so erratic before or after Grubb was shot.

Based on bodycam footage, about a minute elapsed from the start of the wild ride to the crash.

A toxicology report found that Grubb had prescription drugs and methamphetamines in his system, and a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. He also did not have a valid driver’s license.

While Grubb’s actions were unconscionable and inexcusable, nevertheless it is questionable for a law enforcement officer to shoot the driver of a car accelerating on a major road, given the chance that bystanders – and the officer himself – could easily be hurt.

And Lorenz’s decision in the first place to jump on the back of a moving truck to pursue a suspect does not seem to be a standard protocol for law enforcement, and sounds more like a decision to emulate what he has seen in action movies.

A grand jury chose not to indict Lorenz.