Protesters disrupt Tempe City Council meeting over police shooting
TEMPE, Ariz. – Demonstrators stormed a Tempe City Council meeting to protest the fatal police shooting of a 14-year-old boy who was found with an airsoft gun.
The group Tempe Against Police Violence chanted and held signs Thursday in protest of the shooting of Antonio Arce.
“We’re here to demand justice for Antonio Arce and every single victim of police brutality in the country, especially here in metro Phoenix and Maricopa County,” 18-year-old Arizona State University student Alexia Isais said.
Officer Joseph Jaen fatally shot Arce on Jan. 15 as Arce ran from Jaen, according to authorities. They say Jaen found Arce burglarizing a pickup truck. Tempe police have since released officer body-camera video showing the shooting.
Tempe police on Wednesday showed reporters additional video in an effort to tamp down a perception that Arce may not have had a weapon when he was shot. The new video, which was not being publicly released, showed Arce with an orange-tipped fake gun underneath his arm.
Police officials said Jaen fired because he perceived a threat.
The video shows Jaen, who was alone, standing behind a concrete wall as he commands Arce to drop his weapon. Arce is unresponsive, except for a quick moment in which he lifts his head.
Minutes pass as the frantic Jaen, who curses as he waits for backup, keeps a distance.
Other officers who arrived approach Arce’s body, turning him over and handcuffing him before beginning chest compressions.
“It’s just a (expletive) kid,” Jaen says. “It’s a (expletive) toy gun, man. What the (expletive)?”
Jaen is winded and in disbelief as he’s ushered back to his car.
The officer is a 17-year police veteran and is on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
Arizona has a “defense of third person” law that allows someone to use deadly force against another who is threatening or injuring a third person, but there wasn’t anyone else shown on the video in the alley as Arce ran away.