Report expands on history of DPS trooper involved in fatal shooting

Jul 17, 2020, 12:30 PM

(KTAR News Photo)...

(KTAR News Photo)

(KTAR News Photo)

PHOENIX – An internal affairs report on the Arizona state trooper who fatally shot Dion Johnson cataloged a series of reprimands for offenses that include harassment and using a stun gun on a dog.

Department of Public Safety officer George Cervantes, 54, has come under scrutiny in the weeks since the May 25 shooting near Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard in north Phoenix.

Earlier this week, authorities released Cervantes’ employee history, which had several complaints about him from 2010 to 2013, but had few details.

The internal affair records go into detail, including a two-week suspension in 2012.

In a complaint from June 2012, Cervantes was investigated for harassment, accused of leaving a threatening note on a woman’s car after she left a park-and-ride lot at Happy Valley Road and Interstate 17.

The unsigned note contained “verbiage that caused” the woman to “fear for her safety and the safety of her family.”

The report said the woman had removed Cervantes from her Costco account.

The report said Cervantes admitted writing, printing and delivering the note.

Using the printer in his vehicle constituted a misuse of state property, the report said, as was driving a patrol vehicle for nonbusiness purposes.

Cervantes also was reprimanded for not telling a supervisor immediately about an order of protection taken out against him in June 2012 and subsequently violating the order.

In that instance, Cervantes texted someone to whom he considered himself to be a father figure.

The report said Cervantes used a department-issued taser on a puppy that was digging holes in the yard between June 2011 and 2012 and quoted him saying he “became frustrated with my other disciplinary methods, and that was just the most quick and easiest, I guess, method that I could think of.”

That offense was listed as a misuse of state property.

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Report expands on history of DPS trooper involved in fatal shooting