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Mesa PD providing more transparency on officer-involved shootings

PHOENIX — The Mesa Police Department on Tuesday announced it has taken additional steps to provide the public with more information regarding officer-involved shootings.

Going forward, the department will release Critical Incident Community Briefing videos within 45 days of an officer-involved shooting, according to a press release.

“It is our goal to provide our community with a better understanding of what happens any time an officer involved shooting occurs,” the release stated.

“Chief Cost has made it an organizational directive that Mesa Police Department continues to research and implement ways to connect with our community, foster trust and maintain positive relationships across community groups that represent the city of Mesa.”

The first Critical Incident Community Briefing was released on Tuesday in which Mesa Police Department Public Information Officer Nik Rasheta discussed the details of an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Nov. 16, 2019.

The incident involved 27-year-old Garrett Ryberg, who died after being shot by Mesa police officers at a business near Alma School Road and the Loop 202 Santan Freeway.

Police responded to the call after the suspect’s coworkers saw him searching vehicles; they then noticed he had a gun as they confronted him.

After arriving on the scene, officers shot Ryberg as he pointed his gun at them while hiding in a vehicle.

The Critical Incident Community Briefing video contains a variety of case details such as the initial 911 call, video and audio from an officer-worn body camera, security camera video and information about the suspect.

“Things could change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed and reviewed,” Rasheta said.

“This video will not draw conclusions about whether these officers acted consistent within our policy and the law until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete.”

Mesa Police Department’s steps to provide additional transparency relating to officer-involved shootings followed 13 consecutive days of protests in metro Phoenix.

Demonstrators took to the streets in response to the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Dion Johnson in Phoenix and advocated for various reforms involving the reallocation of public funds and use-of-force tactics utilized by police officers.

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