Updated: 6 p.m. | Posted: 1:23 p.m.
Officer Efrem Hamilton acted "objectively reasonable" when he fired at a car full of people on Nov. 19, 2016. That's according to defense witness Brooklyn Park Deputy Chief Mark Bruley.
Narrating Hamilton's squad car video as it was shown in court Wednesday, Bruley testified it appears to him the grey BMW sedan backing toward the officer accelerated before it struck the squad. Bruley said the suspect BMW appeared to briefly push the squad backward just before Hamilton exited the car and fired once. No one was hit.
Bruley said Hamilton made the right move.
"We train officers to stop threats not kill people," said Bruley. "When the threat was gone, the shooting stopped."
Hamilton testified Tuesday that he believed the driver of the car was going to get out and shoot at him first.
Bruley, who has developed a use of force evaluation system at the Brooklyn Park Police Department, said Hamilton drove into a chaotic, active shooter situation that was not yet under control.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Tara Ferguson-Lopez said there was no dispatch call characterizing the incident as an active shooter. And Ferguson-Lopez said there were no more reports of shots fired between the time Hamilton responded to the call to when he arrived.
Hamilton has been charged with three criminal counts connected to the shooting.
In closing arguments, Ferguson-Lopez said Hamilton's use of force was excessive and unreasonable. She said he was in no danger.
She pointed to the testimony of several other officers at the scene who encountered other grey sedans, which matched the suspect description. Those officers, she said, didn't fire their weapons.
Defense attorney Fred Bruno told jurors that they have to base their decision on what Hamilton perceived and knew about the situation as it unfolded. As far as the officer knew, Bruno said, that shooter was still at large. Officers were all around with guns drawn. He'd also heard a radio dispatch that at least one person was wounded.
Bruno said the prosecution is trying portray Hamilton as some kind of cowboy. He said had Hamilton really been reckless, he would have fired more shots. He did have a full magazine of 15 bullets left after he fired the first shot.
The trial continues on Friday with the remaining closing arguments, after which the jury will get the case.