ARIZONA NEWS

FBI to investigate Mesa Police Department use-of-force incidents

Aug 29, 2018, 7:47 PM | Updated: 10:06 pm

PHOENIX — The FBI will investigate two incidents involving the use of force within the Mesa Police Department, police spokesman Esteban Flores said.

Video shows 33-year old Robert Johnson talking on his phone in a corridor as police approach and tell him to sit down against the wall. He did not follow instructions, instead leaning against the wall with his phone in his hand.

The officers began to punch him in the head repeatedly as several moved in to hold Johnson down.

He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and hindering prosecution during the May 23 domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex.

Charges were dropped on June 14.

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

Scottsdale police conducted an independent investigation, and Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista hired an outside attorney to investigate, according to the Associated Press.

It was determined “the use of force was legally authorized and justified” under state law, the Scottsdale police said to AP.

Now, the FBI will be investigating.

“We are glad that the FBI is stepping in to investigate the Robert Johnson case,” said Benjamin Taylor, the attorney for Johnson. “It was hard for Scottsdale to do an independent investigation on their fellow sister city.  We hope that the FBI will help clean up the Mesa Police department and give justice to Robert Johnson.”

In addition, the FBI will be looking into the use of force incident involving Gabriel Mark Ramirez, Jr., who was arrested near Country Club Drive and McLellan Road.

Police did not provide the probable cause or date of Ramirez’ arrest.

The FBI has also investigated the Mesa Police Department for the officer-involved shooting of Scott Farnsworth on Sept. 22, 2017 and Daniel Shaver on Jan. 18, 2016.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Casita bill, or HB 2070, passed in Arizona House...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona House Democrat explains how ‘casita bill’ can help fight the state’s housing shortage

The so-called "casita" bill was passed by the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday. Rep. Analise Ortiz breaks down the benefits.

44 minutes ago

north-korean-fraud...

Nick Borgia

Arizona woman accused of involvement in major North Korean fraud scheme

An Arizona woman is being prosecuted for allegedly assisting in North Korean fraud schemes to place overseas IT workers in U.S. positions.

2 hours ago

Peoria wants to build out a future airpark similar to the Scottsdale Airpark, pictured here, with a...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Peoria Airpark project could create thousands of jobs, millions in revenue

Plans for a new regional airport and employment center in Peoria could generate nearly 8,000 jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for the municipality, according to a study released this month.

5 hours ago

Authorities released these images from a 2022 assault in Gilbert in January 2024. An arrest was mad...

KTAR Video

Video: SHORT: Why are prosecutors cutting deals with youth violence suspects and alleged Gilbert Goons?

Some of the young adults arrested in connection with violent gang-related attacks in the East Valley are getting deals from prosecutors. Chris Merrill shares his thoughts.

5 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: Why are prosecutors cutting deals with youth violence suspects and alleged Gilbert Goons?

Some of the young adults arrested in connection with violent gang-related attacks in the East Valley are getting deals from prosecutors. Chris and Joe wonder how victims and others experiencing youth violence feel. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

6 hours ago

Fire breaks out in home where man accused of shooting his baby...

Serena O'Sullivan

Fire burned Surprise home after police standoff following shooting of 6-month-old baby

A man was accused of shooting his baby in a Surprise residence he broke into on Friday. A fire later broke out in the house, officials said.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

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.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

FBI to investigate Mesa Police Department use-of-force incidents