Edward Kimmel from Takoma Park, MD via Wikimedia Commons

It all happened in the span of a few seconds.

Two officers with the Phoenix Police Department responding to 911 calls concerning an ongoing domestic dispute that neighbors opined may have escalated into a physical confrontation arrived at an inconspicuous beige apartment complex, not knowing the following interaction, however brief, would change their lives forever.

An officer knocked on the door and announced their presence as police. Forty-year-old Ryan Whitaker, armed with a gun, answered the door, setting an utterly predictable, yet nonetheless tragic set of events in motion.

Though Whitaker appeared to drop the gun willingly, his continued movement towards one of the officers was met with gunfire.


The Phoenix Police Department recently released the officers’ bodycam footage to provide the most complete, most objective analysis of the incident.

Criminal defense attorney and Townhall columnist Marina Medvin subsequently explained in a compelling Twitter thread why we should allow the police officers’ subjective reasoning to prevail over criticism from those safely removed from the literal life or death equation.

The analysis is cogent; the observations, astute. But what do you think? Were the officer’s actions justified? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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Michael Brigham has written for American Action News since the summer of 2019. His areas of expertise include foreign affairs, government, and politics, but regardless of the subject matter, he has a nose and an insatiable appetite for news. In his free time, he enjoys reading nonfiction, watching a mix of comedies and true crime documentaries, and spending time away from the swamp hiking in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.


  1. Cops did everything by the book,only drew weapons upon seeing perps weapon,judging by what I read and could see in the pictures,Cops were justified in actions they took

  2. First thing we need to know is Democraps AKA LIBERAL IDIOTS won’t be swayed by TRUTH and FACT. So no matter how logical and CORRECT anyone shows the police action to be the right action the Democraps won’t believe it. These is because the MASSIVE amounts of WORTHLESS FECAL MATTED where their Brains should be won’t and CAN’T handle TRUTH or FACT. So no matter how logical, FACTUAL, and TRUTHFUL anyone is Democraps which means LIBERAL will not accept what the FACTS are.

  3. When facing some one with a gun, it comes down to who is the fastest to react, rules of the old west. Stay alive!

  4. Good breakdown but you left out one important point…the officer that fired first was also concerned about his own life, not just that of his fellow officer. They were both there and neither knew who this perp would hit first if he suddenly pulled up and started firing.

  5. Those officer’s did everything like they were trained to do during their academy training. If they hadn’t done what they did, 1 of those officer’s could have been killed or possibly both could have been killed. They should not be ashamed of their actions.

    Continue protecting and serving your community and country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I do not fault the police officers. A lot of things went wrong after the guy opened that door. However, look at this generically from the perspective of the resident. ANYONE can say they are the police. How should a citizen respond without endangering their life to someone who says they are the police, but aren’t? What would be the recommended way to respond, so neither the citizen or officers life is put into danger? Having such a protocol and publicizing it regularly might help avoid a tragedy such as this in the future.

  7. 1st. Before opening your door check who is knocking. 2nd. if they claim to be police have them show their ID to the peep hole. If no peep hole, improvise! 3rd. If police then put your gun down.4th, REMEMBER if no search warrant they are unable to enter your domain unless invited. Finally. If they are not law enforcement, go out your backdoor or window and come around and place well aimed center mass shots to the individuals. Once the threat is diminished, place one shot to the head of each perp! It’s TIME to get REAL America. It’s time to regain control of our nation.

    1. In this case, a reported domestic assault, the police are most definitely able to legally enter to check on the welfare of the other party, to determine if a physical assault actually occurred, and establish the probable cause (if any) to arrest one or both of the people involved. AND, if minors are present to ensure their welfare.

  8. Man has a legal right to answer his door with a gun in hand for his safety and protection. Pity the pigs weren’t shot.

    1. NEVER ANSWER YOUR DOOR when somone knocks and claims to be the police. That is how you get shot. IF they break in, you have a perfect right to drop them as they enter. High brass, 12ga, OO buck shot, just below the belt buckle will do nicely. Remember that cops all wear body armor now, so you need to shoot where the armor is not.

  9. Common sense people! If you out yourself in that situation! Expect to be shot. Good move on the cops part!

  10. Fight with wife.
    Holding gun in effort to be in control.
    Answer door with gun in hand.
    Get killed.
    Want to be a cop and risk your life dealing with drunk idiots?

  11. With the current wave of assaults and murders of law enforcement officers what would YOU be thinking if you were an officer responding to a call and were faced by a subject with a weapon?

  12. Man that was fast. Truly I would have been dead if I were the cop. Just not enough time to assess the danger. What idiot confronts LEOs with a gun in hand? Just dumb. I have watched videos of other CCL people who acted to protect others. And when the cops arrive, they ALL put the gun on the ground and step back.
    Avoid the appearance of evil.

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