Phoenix police plan to fire officer who fatally shot Ryan Whitaker

Jul 22, 2021, 11:11 AM | Updated: 5:05 pm
(Phoenix Police Department Screenshot)...
(Phoenix Police Department Screenshot)
(Phoenix Police Department Screenshot)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department plans to fire the officer who fatally shot a man who answered his apartment door while carrying his gun in a May 2020 incident prosecutors called “a tragedy.”

Officer Jeff Cooke wasn’t criminally charged after body camera video (WARNING: Graphic content) showed he shot Ryan Whitaker, 40, three times in the doorway of his Ahwatukee residence as he was backing away on May 21, 2020.

“After extensive review of the totality of the circumstances, Chief Williams has notified Officer Cooke of the intent to move forward to end his employment with the Phoenix Police Department,” Sgt. Ann Justus told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email.

Cooke and Officer John Ferragamo were responding to a neighbor’s 911 call reporting a domestic dispute. The investigation found no signs of an altercation, only that Whitaker and his girlfriend were playing a loud videogame, according to a statement from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors concluded that Whitaker wasn’t a threat but it was understandable why Cooke didn’t see it that way.

The department’s Use of Force Board reviewed the incident in May and recommended the incident be designated as within policy.

“The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is disappointed in the decision by the Phoenix Police Department to terminate Officer Jeff Cooke due to a shooting deemed in-policy by the Department’s Use of Force Board and will support him through the appeal process,” PLEA said in a statement.

Whitaker’s family has called for both Cooke and Ferragamo to be fired and for Cooke to be prosecuted for murder. In December, the Phoenix City Council approved a $3 million settlement with the family.

Justus said the administrative process is ongoing. Cooke remains on administrative leave.

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

(Facebook Photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)...

Chandler City Council approves policy to prohibit acts of discrimination

The Chandler City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance that prohibits discrimination during Monday’s meeting.
1 day ago
(Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Execution warrant requested for Arizona death row inmate

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has requested the state Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for death row inmate Aaron Gunches.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Angel Zamora)...

2 Phoenix police officers charged with assault in October incident with shooting suspect

Charges against two Phoenix police officers accused of assaulting a shooting suspect during an October arrest have been submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
1 day ago
(Screenshot via Glendale Police Department)...

Glendale police said officer who activated Taser on shoplifting suspect 14 times followed policy

Glendale police said an officer who activated a Taser 14 times on a shoplifting suspect Tuesday acted within department policy.
1 day ago
(Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Photo/Andrew Pielage)...

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale to host 1st holiday experience

The Scottsdale winter home and studio of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright will host two weekends of holiday-themed activities open to the public for the first time.
1 day ago
Teofilo Acuna Gutierrez (Photo courtesy of DPS)...

Silver Alert canceled for 78-year-old man last seen in Phoenix

A Silver Alert was canceled Wednesday evening in Phoenix for a 78-year-old man who hasn't been spotted since Friday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
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.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Phoenix police plan to fire officer who fatally shot Ryan Whitaker