Dion Johnson case submitted to prosecutors for decision on charges

Jul 8, 2020, 11:48 AM | Updated: Sep 21, 2020, 11:49 am
Protesters gather in front of Phoenix City Hall, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Phoenix while protestin...

Protesters gather in front of Phoenix City Hall, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Phoenix while protesting the death of George Floyd, Dion Johnson and other subjects of police violence. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – The police investigation into a fatal shooting by an Arizona state trooper is in the hands of metro Phoenix prosecutors, who will decide whether to press charges after reviewing the high-profile case.

The Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office both confirmed that the investigation into Dion Johnson’s death was submitted Tuesday.

“There is no timeline for a charging decision, but the county attorney has asked staff to prioritize a review of this case,” MCAO spokeswoman Jennifer Liewer said in a statement emailed to KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

Authorities have said an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper shot and killed Johnson on May 25 after a struggle on the Loop 101 near Tatum Boulevard in north Phoenix.

Johnson, a 28-year-old Black man, died around 5:30 a.m. the same day George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

The death of Floyd — which occurred after an officer, who has since been fired and charged with second-degree murder, knelt on his neck for around eight minutes — set off weeks of protests against police brutality and racial inequality across the nation and world.

During Phoenix-area rallies, protesters cited Johnson’s case along with those of Floyd and others killed by law enforcement officers as examples of injustice against minorities.

In early June, Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel told KTAR News the response to the Floyd case could influence whether charges would be filed in the Johnson case.

“In a way it does because, guess what, in Maricopa County we’re going to do the right things for the right reasons,” she said.

“And if we have people, law enforcement or otherwise, committing crimes, we’re going to hold them accountable.”

On Wednesday, DPS identified the trooper who shot Johnson as George Cervantes. The 54-year-old with 15 years of service time is currently on administrative leave.

The motorcycle trooper who responded to the scene afterward has not been identified.

Neither individuals were equipped with body-worn cameras.

The only known video of the scene was captured by AZFamily, which started recording via Arizona Department of Transportation traffic cameras after hearing reports of a shooting. The video begins after the shooting occurred, with Johnson on the ground behind his car.

Adel told KTAR News in June that video footage is helpful for making charging decisions, but “we will still have as much investigative information as we possibly can.”

Police have said the trooper contacted Johnson because he was unresponsive in a car stopped in a freeway gore point. They said the trooper attempted to arrest Johnson for suspicion of drunk driving when the struggle and shooting occurred.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Man dies making left turn after driver runs red light in Phoenix

A man was killed in Phoenix on Friday after a driver ran a red light, striking the victim's car in an intersection, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs creates panel to study teacher retention problem

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order Thursday aimed at figuring out ways to keep teachers in classrooms.
1 day ago
Protesters march Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn., over the death of Tyre Nichols, who di...
Associated Press

6th officer fired after beating death of Tyre Nichols

A sixth Memphis officer was fired Friday after an internal police investigation showed he violated multiple department policies in the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols.
1 day ago
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Denver Court throws out Wyoming doctor’s pill convictions

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out the convictions of a doctor accused of overprescribing powerful pain medication and ordered a new trial for him.
1 day ago
(Photo illustration by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

$700M Powerball prize latest in string of giant jackpots

There is another giant lottery jackpot up for grabs Saturday night, the latest in a string of big prizes enticing players to plunk down $2.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Missing Arizona girl rescued from basement of sex offender in Utah

A missing Arizona girl was rescued from the basement of a Utah sex offender earlier this week, authorities said Friday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
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.
Dion Johnson case submitted to prosecutors for decision on charges