ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix councilman blasts police protesters, says review policy in place

Jun 20, 2019, 12:05 PM
Protesters angered by a video of Phoenix officers who pointed guns and yelled obscenities at a blac...

Protesters angered by a video of Phoenix officers who pointed guns and yelled obscenities at a black family they suspected of shoplifting gather outside City Council chambers, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Phoenix to demand reforms. Speakers called on the council to fire the officers involved in the videotaped incident and to create a board of civilians to oversee changes in department procedures. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix city councilman said activists who are demanding police be held more accountable already have a process to turn to – the citizen’s review committee.

Groups who have been protesting since a video was released of two Phoenix officers aiming guns at a pregnant woman and her two young daughters watched Wednesday as the city council passed a budget that included $721 million for the police department.

Some in attendance told the council it should set up a board of civilians to oversee changes in police department procedures.

“We already have that,” Councilman Sal DiCiccio said Thursday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

Council members were presented with a similar petition in December. The department recorded 44 officer-involved shootings in 2018, an all-time high.

DiCiccio said instances when an officer faces disciplinary action are sent to the citizen’s board.

“These individuals are out to take out the police department,” he said of the protesters.

“They want to be able to go in there and start firing officers they don’t like. They want that group to have more power … than what the city manager has. It’s just insane.”

DiCiccio, along with Vice Mayor Jim Waring, voted against the budget, describing it as “structurally unsound.”

But DiCiccio supports the police.

“You have this very small group of individuals pushing the narrative that (police) are bad people. They’re painting the narrative that (police are) murderers. They’re not,” the District 6 councilman said.

He shouted at the protesters, who had been shouting themselves, during the tension-filled meeting, calling them anarchists.

“That’s what they are,” DiCiccio said.

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Phoenix councilman blasts police protesters, says review policy in place