PHOENIX — Protestors are asking for an overhaul of the grand jury system and police patrols in Phoenix after an officer killed an unarmed black man earlier this month.
A political action committee filed two petitions Tuesday with the city clerk in reaction to the shooting death of 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon.
“When they see us out there with our petitions and that we’re citizens and we’re tired of this, then maybe they will take the action themselves,” Leonard Clark, chairman of People Against Clergy and Politicians who Preach Hate, said.
The Phoenix resident drafted both petitions. He said the first petition calls for the Phoenix Police Department to immediately implement a body-camera program to help solve alleged police crimes.
“A lot of people are saying that it’s time for body cameras,” Clark said. “But that’s why we did two petitions because that’s not enough.”
The other petition asks for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to appoint a special, third-party prosecutor for grand juries involving alleged police shootings, felonies, and other law enforcement misconduct.
“People are very uncomfortable,” Clark said. “They believe that, built into the system, is bias and so the petition is to ask to appoint special independent prosecutors.
“It’s quite blatant that the grand jury system, when it comes to alleged police shootings and that type of thing, it’s just not a fair system.”
Brisbon was killed Dec. 2 at an apartment complex. Police said Brisbon was killed after reaching in his pants and officer Mark Rine, a seven-year veteran, thought it may have been a weapon. It was later revealed he had a bottle of pills in his pocket.
Police are conducting an internal investigation, and prosecutors will determine whether Rine will face criminal charges. He was placed on non-enforcement duty pending the outcome of the investigation.