2 Phoenix officers accused of excessive force won’t face criminal charges

Jan 30, 2023, 12:02 PM

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX — No criminal charges will be filed against two Phoenix officers accused of using excessive force during an arrest captured on video at a convenience store last year, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

The Phoenix Police Department previously recommended criminal charges against Officers Eddie Becerra and Nicholas Beck over the Oct. 27 arrest of Harry Denman.

Prosecutors agreed regarding Becerra’s actions and sought a grand jury indictment. However, the grand jury declined to charge him after prosecutors presented evidence last week, MCAO said in a press release Monday.

“The presentation included body-worn camera footage, surveillance video provided by the convenience store and a video recorded by a bystander,” the release said. “The grand jury declined to issue an indictment.”

MCAO also said it didn’t seek an indictment against Beck because it determined “there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction.”

“Beck’s conduct occurred prior to Denman being secured with handcuffs and prior to the location of the weapon being determined,” prosecutors said in their disposition note for Beck’s case.

MCAO sought and was granted permission from a judge to unseal the grand jury findings.

Interim Police Chief Michael Sullivan said he placed the officers on administrative leave and started investigating the incident after the department became aware of it.

In December, Sullivan’s department submitted recommendations to MCSO of two counts of aggravated assault and one of misdemeanor assault against Becerra and one count each of aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault for Beck.

Denman, 38, was being detained after he allegedly shot at a patrol vehicle occupied by the two officers outside the QuikTrip at 59th Avenue and Buckeye Road.

The incident started when Denman approached the uniformed officers after they left the store and they told him they had to leave for a call. When they were backing out in their patrol vehicle, Denman allegedly pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired once at the ground and once at the SUV.

According to the probable cause statement police filed for Denman’s arrest, the bullet went through a mounted spotlight and hit the side of the vehicle.

Denman then went into the store, and the officers followed and took him into custody after an altercation that left the suspect bloodied.

Bystander video posted to Facebook (WARNING: graphic content) begins with Denman on his knees and starting to lie down face first. As he’s moving downward with his hands in view, both officers appear to stomp on the back of his head, driving his face into the ground, before cuffing Denman’s hands behind his back. One of the officers kicks him in the back when he rolls onto one side while cuffed.

During the altercation, the officers could be heard asking Denman where the gun was.

The video ends after the officers get Denman onto his feet and walk him out of frame, leaving behind his glasses and hat and splashes of blood on the tile floor.

After the incident, a store clerk told police that Denman put the gun on a counter after he came inside, according to the probable cause statement.

Denman was booked into Maricopa County Jail on multiple counts, including aggravated assault of an officer and resisting arrest.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

side by side of Robert Robbins and crowds of people....

SuElen Rivera

New ABOR chair wants UArizona president to take pay cut amid budget scandal

After leadership changes, the newly elected chair of the state university's governing board plans to cut the salary of UArizona's president.

5 minutes ago

A person fell down a well in Chandler on March 4, 2024. (Pexels Photo)...

Person injured after falling 15 feet into well in Chandler

A person was injured after falling 15 feet into a dry well in an empty field in Chandler on Monday morning, authorities said.

1 hour ago

Blurry photo of an ambulance with lights on at night...

Impairment believed to be a factor in fatal weekend collision in north Phoenix

One man is dead and another is in the hospital after a collision involving two passenger vehicles and a parked city bus in north Phoenix.

2 hours ago

Pentagon Technologies in View 202...

Damon Allred

Pentagon Technologies to build $50 million semiconductor cleaning facility in Mesa

Construction is underway for a semiconductor equipment cleaning facility in southeast Mesa expected to open later this year.

3 hours ago

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on the 59th commemoration of the Bloody Sunday Selma bridge cro...

VP Kamala Harris to visit Phoenix day after president’s State of the Union address

Vice President Kamala Harris is coming to Phoenix this week, one day after President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address.

5 hours ago

(OdySea Aquarium PR photo)...

Mermaid Magic returns to OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale for spring break

OdySea Aquarium is bringing back Mermaid Magic for a limited time from March 13-18, it announced last week.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

2 Phoenix officers accused of excessive force won’t face criminal charges