PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is investigating items that were found in the home of a deputy who took his own life.
Over 900 hours of videos of over 2,000 traffic stops were found in April after Deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz reported a burglary at his home. No evidence of a burglary was found, but officers did the find the videos as well as thousands of driver’s licenses and other items.
Armendariz committed suicide a week later.
Court records show that Armendariz may have been “shaking down” immigrants during the traffic stops. County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he has not seen any of the videos, but knows one of them does not support what the records claim.
Montgomery said the video makes it clear Armendariz’s car was parked in such a way that he could not see the driver.
“There’s no way that he could have known the race, ethnicity, or sex of the driver unless he actually got up to the vehicle and had contact with the driver,” he said.
Montgomery wants to know if any of the videos may have an impact on any criminal cases.
“With the individuals who are the subjects of those traffic stops, if we have to go through and try to figure out who they are, that could be very time consuming,” he said. “My expectation would be that law enforcement would try to identify who those folks are.”
Montgomery said that MCSO is cooperating with the investigation. Montogomery also said that his office is checking to see if any names on the licenses found at Armendariz’s home match those found in any court records.
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