ARIZONA NEWS

Mayor says she supports Phoenix police chief amid controversy

Jun 14, 2019, 10:27 AM | Updated: 2:35 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Foster)...
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Foster)
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Foster)

PHOENIX — The mayor of Phoenix says she supports the city’s head of police amid controversy over the way recent use-of-force cases have been handled.

“I do support our chief. We’ve had several incidents that require leadership on her part. She has reacted swiftly and appropriately,” Mayor Kate Gallego told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday.

A community activist called for Chief Jeri Williams to step down this week over an incident where officers threatened to shoot members of a family.

The family accused Phoenix police of battery, unlawful imprisonment and false arrest among other charges and announced Thursday that they are seeking $10 million from the city.

Also on Thursday, a Phoenix police officer accused of punching and kneeing a suspect in a store pleaded not guilty to assault charges.

Last week, Williams called for an investigation after a database of current and former officers’ social media posts was published, revealing posts mocking minority groups and violence against civilians.

Gallego said she doesn’t want to comment on any specific cases before they are fully investigated.

“To me, it’s important that we’re able to have a full investigation, that we have all of the facts before we judge anything,” she said.

“I do know that we’ve had incidents in this community where we’ve used more force than we needed to, and that’s why we’re really looking at our training, why we’re looking at how we deliver service.”

The department has been making an effort to implement new policies after it recorded a record high number of officer-involved shootings last year.

Gallego said Williams is working to emphasize de-escalation tactics, starting with its new recruits.

“Our police chief has recently rethought the way we train our officers, which is very important to me and something I strongly support,” she said.

“We had been doing military-style training, and now we’re really focused on scenario-based training and how can we de-escalate, how can we make sure that everyone goes home safely?”

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)...
KTAR.com

Arizona, 11 other states granted injuction in suit over vaccine mandate for health care workers

Arizona and 11 other states were granted a nationwide injunction Tuesday in a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for certain health care workers.
18 hours ago
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

2 dead, 1 in critical condition after shooting at west Phoenix residence

Two people died and one person was taken to the hospital in critical condition after a shooting Tuesday at a west Phoenix residence, authorities said. 
18 hours ago
(Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix hits 80 degrees for most days in November history

It's no triple digits, but a warm November in Phoenix was punctuated with a new heat record set on Tuesday.
18 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Cesar Chavez High School)...
KTAR.com

15-year-old boy arrested in shooting after gun sale gone wrong at Phoenix high school

A 15-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday in the shooting of a 16-year-old boy following a gun sale gone wrong at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix, police said.
18 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Union High School District)...
Jim Sharpe

How about actual ‘safe spaces’ for Phoenix Union students?

Following a Monday shooting at Cesar Chavez High School, KTAR News host Jim Sharpe asks if school resource officers should have a renewed presence at Phoenix Union High School District.
18 hours ago
Adele cheers on the Phoenix Suns during the NBA Finals at Footprint Center on July 17, 2021. (Photo...
Kevin Stone

2022 Vegas residency brings Adele within driving distance of Phoenix fans

Adele has no plans to tour on the heels of her latest smash album, but the reigning queen of musical heartbreak is going easy on Valley daydreamers willing to make the trip to Las Vegas.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
...
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Mayor says she supports Phoenix police chief amid controversy