Phoenix police chief requests FBI investigates officer-involved shooting

Jul 7, 2020, 4:30 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2020, 9:47 pm

PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams on Tuesday announced she had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent civil rights review of an officer-involved shooting that left a 29-year-old man dead on Saturday.

“This incident has gained widespread attention within our community and across the country,” Williams said in a press release.

“I am taking this step in the best interest of my employees, my department, and the city. I recognize this is a time of community distrust. I hope this step will allow our community to feel confident in the findings.”

On Monday, Phoenix police released body camera footage worn by an officer who had provided on-site assistance after two officers shot and killed 29-year-old James Garcia at a residence near 56th and and Glenrosa avenues.

Prior to the shooting, officers arrived at the scene in response to a 911 call made by a man who had been stabbed the week before.

The caller told 911 that the man responsible had arrived in the area and was threatening his life.

The Phoenix Police Department Professional Standards Bureau and Homicide Unit will conduct separate investigations of the incident, according to Williams

Williams also said that, going forward, the department will release available body-worn video of an officer-involved shooting 10-14 days after the incident occurs.

Thursday night, the Phoenix Police Department identified the officers involved in the incident to be 29-year-old Noel Trevino and 31-year-old Gregory Wilson.

Phoenix Councilmember Carlos Garcia, state Rep. Diego Rodriguez and state Sen. Martín Quezada on Tuesday called for the Phoenix Police Department to release additional, unedited video documenting an officer-involved shooting that occurred Saturday.

“Despite the calls from the community to end police brutality and killings, Phoenix PD continues to respond to calls with violence,” Garcia said in a press release.

“We demand a full, independent, and transparent investigation of the case, including the release of all footage unedited.”

In a separate release, Rodriguez and Quezada also called for the department to make additional information public, stating that doing so would foster a “greater level of trust between the community and law enforcement.”

“We need to see all of the raw body camera and civilian video from this incident, the complete 911 call and the description of the suspect they were looking for, radio logs and completed police reports,” the Arizona leaders said.

“We also need the prior shooting and complaint histories of the officers involved. What we have now is a Phoenix Police Department produced 3-minute video filled with information selectively released by Phoenix police to bolster a narrative that is disputed by witnesses.”

In the video released by the Phoenix Police Department, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said the investigation is in its early stages and authorities were still collecting evidence to gain a full understanding of the event.

“Releasing body-worn camera footage from the officers directly involved before all witnesses and officer interviews are completed would compromise the investigation,” she said.

The incident on Saturday was the 26th shooting by law enforcement in the Valley this year, the tenth involving Phoenix police, according to reports tracked by KTAR News 92.3 FM.

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Phoenix police chief requests FBI investigates officer-involved shooting