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Phoenix police officer demoted for 2014 killing of woman

PHOENIX — A Phoenix police officer who shot and killed a woman in 2014 was officially demoted Friday.

An internal review showed Sgt. Percy Dupra’s use of force did not comply with departmental policy. The Phoenix Police Department Use of Force Board voted to demote Dupra earlier this week, pending a decision from Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner.

Yahner decided Friday to follow the board’s recommendation.

The Rev. Jarrett Maupin and the victim’s family were angered at the decision, saying Dupra should have been fired instead of demoted.

“True justice will not occur until Percy Dupra is terminated and no longer carrying a badge and a gun,” Frances Garrett, the victim’s mother, said in a release.

Dupra can appeal the decision.

A Maricopa County Attorney’s Office review did not find any criminal offense on Dupra’s part.

Dupra shot and killed 50-year-old Michelle Cusseaux in August 2014 when she allegedly charged mental health workers while wielding a hammer. Officers had been called to a Phoenix apartment complex to serve an emergency mental health pickup order on Cusseaux.

Her family said she struggled with depression, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, but had no violent history.

In the wake of the shooting, then-Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia apologized for Cusseaux’s death.

“I’m sorry for what happened to Michelle Cusseaux,” he said in August. “I give my condolences to Francis Garrett, her mother, and the family.”

Garcia also called for officers to receive 40 hours of mental health training every two years. Phoenix police officers responded to more than 4,500 mental health checks and came across an additional 4,000 in 2013, Garcia said.

Cusseaux’s family staged several protests over her death. They brought Cusseaux’s body to at least one of them. The family also filed a $7 million lawsuit against the city.

The above video is a forensic recreation animation of the shooting created by, hired by the Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association. Sean Mattson with the association posted the video on YouTube.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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