ARIZONA NEWS

Penzone: Officers are often ‘premature in choosing’ tools like stun guns

Feb 12, 2019, 7:23 PM
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone says officers often turn to tools such as stun guns too quickly these days.

He told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday that he remembers incidents being more “hands-on” when he was a younger officer, at a time when tools like Tasers weren’t widely available.

“Because the tools are so readily accessible and seem to mitigate threats immediately, I do think we’re premature in choosing them, and we’re premature in using them, and we’re premature in abusing them, so that’s something that we collectively have to look at in law enforcement,” Penzone said.

He called the 2017 incident in which a Glendale police officer shocked a suspect with a stun gun 11 times “disappointing.”

Penzone said he has not viewed all of the body cam footage from the event, but he has seen pieces of it.

“In cases such as these, I think any common citizen without law enforcement training can look at it and have considerable concern as to why, how, what the application was, and was it necessary?” he said.

Johnny Wheatcroft, 37, was a passenger in a silver Ford Taurus that included his 11- and 6-year-old children when the car was pulled over in a Motel 6 parking lot for an alleged turn signal violation.

The traffic stop soon turned violent once Schneider used a Taser on Wheatcroft approximately 11 times, including on his genital area, in front of his children, wife and friend.

Penzone said he hopes to see more officers intervene when their colleagues use what may be excessive force.

“It’s something that we want to see more of, which is leadership in those moments by everybody saying ‘hey, woah, woah, tap the breaks, that’s not appropriate,’ in handling it, but human nature is human nature, and we have to work and correct that,” he said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Katie Hobbs speaks to supporters at a campaign rally on Nov. 6, 2022, in Tucson. (Photo by John Moo...
KTAR.com

Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s other winners to be inaugurated Jan. 5

Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs will become Arizona's first Democratic governor in 14 years when she is inaugurated in a Jan. 5 ceremony.
14 hours ago
(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...
KTAR.com

5 metro Phoenix animal shelters participating in 10-day reduced fee adoption event

Five metro Phoenix animal shelters are taking part in Bissell Pet Foundation's 10-day reduced fee adoption event.
14 hours ago
Montel Alexander (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend in Phoenix after threatening her family

A suspected Phoenix gang member is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend after threatening her family and kidnapping a friend while trying to find her.
14 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Senator Mark Kelly)...
KTAR.com

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly wants answers on how DHS will handle end of Title 42

U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly said he's expecting to hear back from Homeland Security soon addressing continuing issues about the impending termination of Title 42 border-crossing restrictions.
14 hours ago
Activists in this file photo rally outside the Arizona Capitol in June, 2022, after the U.S. Suprem...
Haley Smilow | Cronkite News

Judges grill both sides in hearing about Arizona abortion laws

Arizona Court of Appeals judges quizzed attorneys Wednesday as they tried to figure out how, or if, they can square competing abortion laws.
14 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona State University Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Suspect in custody after shots fired on ASU campus in Tempe

One person is in custody after shots were fired at a student and a police officer on the grounds of Arizona State University in Tempe early Thursday, campus police said.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Penzone: Officers are often ‘premature in choosing’ tools like stun guns