The Ottawa Hills police officer accused of shooting and paralyzing an unarmed suspect during a traffic stop is scheduled to testify Tuesday.
Officer Thomas caine White is accused of shooting motorcyclist Mike McCloskey in Ottawa Hills back in May of 2009. He is being tried for one count of felonious assault with a gun specification, charges that could lead to 11 years in prison.
McCloskey, 25, of Maumee, was shot in the back and suffered severe injuries after he was stopped near Indian Road and Central Avenue by Officer White and another Ottawa Hills policeman last May.
The trial got underway Monday morning in a Lucas County courtroom.
White has pleaded not guilty in the incident which left McCloskey paralyzed from the waist down. The biker suffered severe burns from the motorcycle which fell on top of him after he was shot. A civil suit filed against the village of Ottawa Hills by McCloskey claims that he could lose his leg as a result of those burns, which happened when officers refused to remove the bike from on top of him.
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.
Testimony continues in the trial Tuesday as Officer White is scheduled to take the stand.