Excessive Force? Cop Shoots Woman In Eye

As the country debates how police interact with suspects, INSIDE EDITION has a story of a woman who was shot in the eye by a cop.

Dramatic footage shows a cop shooting a woman right in the head.

Sheriff's deputies say Kristine Johnson’s blood alcohol was four times the legal limit when she took them on a long and wild chase. Her dog, Tatiana, was in the passenger seat next to her.

When cops cornered Kristine, guns were drawn. But again, she tried to get away. As she tried to flee, the deputy fired a single bullet. It went straight into her left eye.

Johnson told INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret, “He was aiming at my head to kill me.”

She wore a temporary eye patch when cops booked her. Now, she is permanently blind and wears an eye patch. She pled guilty and served 42 days in jail.

The question now is: was the cop justified in opening fire?

Moret asked, “The deputy said you didn't stop. You hit his car and you kept on going and he had to shoot. What would you say to the deputy?”

Johnson said, “I should have stopped. I don't know why I didn't stop.”

The prosecutor in Utah called the shooting "unjustified" but declined to file charges because he didn't think a jury would convict the deputy.

Her lawyer, Robert Sykes, sees it differently, saying, “He shot to kill. He wasn't judge and jury. This was not a capital crime. You don't shoot to kill someone who is a drunk driver.”

Kristine Johnson says she was going through a bad time, having gotten a divorce and losing her home. She was driving through Utah to move back home to California when the shooting happened.

Moret asked her, “A lot of people would say, 'You brought this on yourself, you didn't stop.'”

She replied, “What I did was wrong. My actions were wrong. But I don't believe I deserve death for those actions.”

Johnson has filed a federal lawsuit against the sheriff's department claiming the deputy violated her civil rights by using what she calls "excessive force." An official investigation into the incident determined the deputy did nothing wrong.