Council approves $3M payment to family of man killed by Phoenix police

Dec 3, 2020, 2:18 PM
(Phoenix Police Department Screenshot)...
(Phoenix Police Department Screenshot)
(Phoenix Police Department Screenshot)

PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday approved a $3 million settlement with the family of an Ahwatukee man killed by police earlier this year.

An officer shot Ryan Whitaker, 40, moments after he answered the door of his apartment with a gun in his hand on May 21.

In body camera footage (WARNING: graphic images) released by police, Whitaker appears to back off submissively and move the gun back as soon as he realized officers were the ones knocking on his door around 11 p.m.

Seconds later, an officer standing on the side shot Whitaker three times in the back of his left shoulder.

Police were responding to calls from a neighbor indicating that a verbal argument in the apartment on Desert Foothills Parkway near Chandler Boulevard may have become physical.

During a press conference two months after the incident, Whitaker’s brother Steven described how Ryan attempted to follow the officer’s commands after answering the door.

“You can see the very second he identifies it’s police on the other side of that door, you can see it in his face and he immediately takes a defensive position, very submissive,” he said.

Whitaker’s family also denied claims of domestic and said the loud noises coming from the apartment were from video games with loud music.

“The 911 dispatch officer used poor judgment and escalated the call and needs to be fired in my opinion,” Whitaker’s sister, Katie Baeza said during the press conference.

“The 911 caller should have charges brought against him for falsely and knowingly escalating that call.”

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday that it was still reviewing the case to determine if criminal charges should be filed.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(File KTAR News Photo/Matt Bertam)...

Woman accused of smuggling 108 pounds of meth across Arizona port of entry

A woman was charged last week after being accused of smuggling 108 pounds of meth across the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Luis Port of Entry, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...

East Valley bridge over I-10 to close for 2 weeks starting Monday

Guadalupe Road over Interstate 10 will be closed for two weeks starting Monday for work related to the Broadway Curve Improvement Project.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Glendale Police Department)...

Glendale police kill 15-year-old after he allegedly reached for a gun inside stolen vehicle

Police in Glendale on Wednesday shot and killed a 15-year-old who allegedly reached for a gun while he was inside a stolen vehicle, authorities said.
1 day ago
(KTAR News Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill investing more than $1B in water supply

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill Wednesday that allocates $1.2 billion over three years for projects to boost and secure the state’s water supply.
1 day ago
(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey says abortion law in state will come down to courts

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey expects the prevailing law on abortion in the state to be determined through the courts.
1 day ago
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is interviewed in the KTAR News studio on July 6, 2022. (KTAR News Photo/Je...

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey mum on endorsing his successor

With less than a month to go until Arizona's primary election, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey remains mum on his preferred successor.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Council approves $3M payment to family of man killed by Phoenix police