Police officer(l), Acorn(c), Police car(r)

Peter Stenzel/Flickr FordFischer/Twitter (CC-BY)

‘Reno 911 IRL’: The internet is obsessed with video of a cop shooting up his police car with a suspect inside after hearing an acorn hit the ground

'The deputy essentially imagined the whole thing.'

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Posted on Feb 14, 2024

The internet is reacting with shock over recently released police bodycam footage that shows a cop shooting his patrol vehicle after hearing what was later determined to be an acorn.

The footage, taken in November from the bodycam of Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jesse Hernandez, reveals how a simple call regarding an individual allegedly disrupting the peace by honking their horn quickly unraveled into a shooting.

An investigation into the incident found that Hernandez mistook the sound of an acorn falling on his vehicle for a gunshot, resulting in him shouting “shots fired!” and “I’m hit” while unloading his weapon at an unarmed and handcuffed individual sitting inside.

The shooting led a second officer on scene, Sergeant Beth Roberts, to open fire on the patrol vehicle as well. Luckily, the detained individual was not hit despite the barrage of bullets. No firearm was ever found in the vehicle, either.

The video has left viewers online shocked, leading to an influx of negative reactions across social media.

“How this guy was not charged is beyond me,” one user on YouTube said. “This is absolutely outrageous.”

“Wow, this is one of the wildest ones,” another added. “The Deputy essentially imagined the whole thing.”

Over on X, condemnation of the deputy was equally swift.

“Beyond the morbid joke of the cop freaking out over an acorn, his reaction (which his partner followed) was to *empty his gun into the patrol car where they had just placed a handcuffed suspect* despite no real reason to believe that was the source of the ‘bullet,'” user @Ugarles wrote.

Unsurprisingly, many of the platform’s users reacted to the footage with memes.

“This cop whenever the wind blows,” another user wrote above a GIF of Rambo firing a machine gun.

Other references were made to popular culture as well, including those which suggested that the clip was similar to an episode of the comedy TV show Reno 911 and films such as the 2007 comedy film Bee Movie.

Countless claims that a squirrel was responsible for dropping the acorn were also present.

“We have confirmation on the perp who shot first,” another said.

Although Roberts was cleared of wrongdoing for her reaction, an internal investigation by the sheriff’s office determined that Hernandez’s use of deadly force “was not objectively reasonable.”

Hernandez, who did not face any criminal charges for his actions, resigned from the sheriff’s office in December.

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*First Published: Feb 14, 2024, 9:27 am CST