ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa PD cleared over use of force in punching incident caught on video

Aug 27, 2018, 3:34 PM | Updated: 3:36 pm

PHOENIX — An investigation into a May use-of-force incident that resulted in five Mesa police officers being placed on leave determined that no criminal charges were warranted.

The Scottsdale Police Department, which conducted the investigation, concluded that “the use of force was legally authorized and justified under Arizona State Law,” according to a news release issued Monday.

The results were presented to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which agreed with the findings, the release said.

Video of the May 25 incident showed officers repeatedly punching Robert Johnson.

Johnson, 33, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and hindering prosecution after police had responded to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex.

In the video, Johnson could be seen talking on his phone in a corridor while police told him to sit down. Several officers moved in on Johnson and started punching him. It wasn’t clear what instigated the beating.

On June 14, the charges against Johnson were dismissed.

Five officers — Jhonte Jones, Rudy Monarrez, Ernesto Calderon, Robert Gambee and William Abbiatt — were placed on paid administrative leave after the video circulated.

According to Monday’s news release, Scottsdale investigators reviewed more than two hours of body camera footage plus apartment complex surveillance video. They also interviewed 15 people during the investigation.

The case was the first of four incidents in Mesa that came to light within a week through the release of videos, each drawing accusations of police brutality.

Earlier this month, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced that charges were unlikely in another of those incidents based on the results of a Scottsdale Police Department investigation.

That case involved the May 16 arrest of a 15-year-old armed robbery suspect. Two officers were placed on leave over the incident.

The spate of videos prompted Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista in June to launch two investigations into his department’s behavior.

“Simply put, these investigators will shine a glaring light on the areas where we have fallen short, and they will help us fix it,” he said at the time.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

An abandoned Phoenix golf course will be revived this year by the new owner of the property. (Jim P...

Angela Gonzales/Phoenix Business Journal

Developer to breathe new life into abandoned Phoenix golf course, build 415 homes

An abandoned golf course at the southeast corner of 59th and Southern avenues in Phoenix's Laveen Village could get a new lease on life, after years of intense talks between the property's owner and community residents.

29 minutes ago

A two-year-old girl nearly drowned on Saturday in Chandler. (Pexels photo)...

KTAR.com

2-year-old ‘breathing and alert’ after nearly drowning in Chandler

Fire personnel were called to a near-drowning incident in Chandler involving a two-year-old girl on Saturday.

9 hours ago

Exzavion Williams is in jail more than 15 months after a deadly shooting in Phoenix. (MCSO mugshot)...

KTAR.com

Arrest made from February 2023 shooting that killed Phoenix teen

Detectives arrested a man for murder and armed robbery in a homicide case from last year, authorities said Saturday.

9 hours ago

dual-branded hotel groundbreaking...

Damon Allred

Dual-branded hotel coming to Phoenix in 2025 breaks ground

Mayor Kate Gallego was among those present for the groundbreaking on Tuesday of a new dual-branded hotel coming soon to Phoenix.

10 hours ago

Two brothers were arrested weeks after a dead body was removed from a car that was on fire in a can...

KTAR.com

Pair of brothers arrested weeks after a dead body was found in Phoenix canal

Detectives arrested a pair of brothers after a dead body was found in a car on fire last month in west Phoenix.

11 hours ago

A bear was killed by Arizona game officials after it injured a teenager in northern Arizona. (AZ Ga...

Associated Press

Bear shot dead by Arizona game officers after swipe attack on teen in mountain cabin

A black bear was shot and killed by Arizona fish and game officers after it entered a home through an open door and injured a teenager.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Mesa PD cleared over use of force in punching incident caught on video