Former Greensboro police officer maintains fatal shooting was justified

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Former Greensboro police officer Tim Bloch is standing behind his use of fatal force in the March 2014 shooting of Chieu Vo.

The Vo family saw the body camera video of the incident earlier this week for the first time and their attorney Tin Nguyen called the shooting unjustified.

"In the original reports they said that Chieu approached the officer with a knife and that's why he had to use lethal force," Nguyen said. "But the video shows that none of that was true."

Bloch said Nguyen's statements are unethical and immoral, and said that anyone who saw the body camera video would easily see the meat cleaver in Chieu's hand.

"She was running full force toward me," Bloch said. "I didn't want to shoot her. And in the video, you clearly hear me say drop it, drop it, drop it, at least five times. To that attorney -- he's got to think about that I have a family, too. We're actually debating whether or not to move and leave the area because it's gotten so bad. It's so unethical and immoral for that attorney to say that she didn't have a knife in her hand. I don't understand why he would say something like that."

Bloch was cleared of any wrongdoing by law enforcement investigations and said he left the force in 2014.

Bloch was a Greensboro police officer for nearly eight years, during which time Bloch said he won numerous awards. He said shooting Vo was the first and only time he ever fired his gun.

Bloch said he feels sympathy for the Vo family.

"I wish I could reach out and give the mom a hug right now," he said.

But he has no sympathy for the attorney's claims that the shooting was unnecessary.

"Clear as day, she had a meat cleaver in her hand. Meat cleavers aren't made just to go through skin. They're made to go through bone. They can do some serious harm. The only thing I look back on and said I should've changed is -- I let Miss Vo get too close to me with a knife."

The body camera video has not been released to the media or to the public. Greensboro City Council will discuss body camera video release policy at a May 24 work session.

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