Victim takes stand in Ottawa Hills officer trial

Thomas Caine White

The Maumee man paralyzed after being shot in the back by an Ottawa Hills police officer took the stand in the officer's trial Tuesday.

Michael McCloskey answered questions about what happened last May after a traffic stop near the intersection of Central Ave. and Indian Rd. in Ottawa Hills.

The trial will determine whether Officer Thomas White, a part-time officer with the Ottawa Hills Police Department, was justified in shooting McCloskey or whether he used excessive force.

McCloskey told the court he was trying to comply with the officer's orders. "I assumed he was saying, 'Put your hands in the air,' because that's the only thing that I didn't do to comply. I was in the process of putting the bike in neutral when he shot," said McCloskey.

In court on Monday, prosecutors told jurors that Officer White was not justified in the shooting of the biker and that excessive force was used. Dashcam video from White's patrol car was shown to the courtroom. In the video, McCloskey and another biker are seen being followed to the intersection of Central Ave. and Indian Rd. where McCloskey stops with the patrol car behind him. Officer White then exits the vehicle just seconds before McCloskey falls to the ground, presumably after being hit by gun fire.

View police dashcam video courtesy of the Toledo Blade. Please note that the video may contain material not suitable for all viewers.

Officer White has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

He could face up to 11 years behind bars if convicted.