A full three seconds after the man had collapsed to the ground, the officer decided to open fire once more.
Phoenix, AZ — Chilling video was released this week showing several officers surrounding a homeless man before one officer dumps seven rounds into him, continuing to shoot him even after he fell to the ground — ensuring his execution.
The incident unfolded on Jan. 3 as police responded to a 911 call from a resident claiming the man was on top of his fence. When officers arrived, they found the unnamed homeless man sitting on the ground, leaning back against the fence. Moments later, the man would be filled with bullet holes.
According to a press release from the Phoenix police department, the man was simply accused of looking over a resident’s fence.
This incident occurred in the area of 35th Avenue and Broadway Road when Phoenix Police received a call about a man trying to enter a residential back yard. The caller described a man on top of his backyard fence who became angry when the caller confronted him.
Multiple officers were dispatched to the area. After talking with the caller, the officers were directed to the alleyway behind the house. Three officers found a man in the alley matching the description given. The man had a pair of scissors in his right hand.
As the video shows, the officers interviewed the caller who informed them that the man merely looked over his fence and never entered his yard. No crime had been committed as ‘becoming angry’ is not illegal. Nevertheless, officers surrounded the man like he was wanted for murder.
When the first officer saw the scissors, he immediately brandished his pistol and began ordering the man to drop the scissors. The man, who was clearly in need of mental health care, did not respond to the commands.
The man then stood up as two officers deployed their tasers. Unfortunately, the tasers had little to no effect on the man who then took a step toward the officers only to be filled with bullet holes. The police statement described the incident as follows:
The officers order the man, in both English and Spanish, to drop the scissors. When the man did not respond to their commands, two officers deployed their tasers. The taser deployments had little effect. The man then advanced towards the officers with the scissors still in his hand. That is when the officer-involved shooting occurred.
It is important to note the difference in the level of the description given to the entire scenario versus the part where the officer killed the man. Nowhere in their statement did they mention that the officer shot the man six times as he collapsed to the ground. Nowhere in the police statement does it mention that another shot was fired into the man’s body a full 3 seconds after he had been lying on the ground.
While the case could be made that the officer’s initial use of deadly force was justifiable, there is no scenario that would ever justify shooting a man who had just fallen to the ground after being shot six times.
According to the statement, the officer involved in this incident is assigned to the South Mountain Precinct and has approximately 15 years of service with the department. Two investigations are currently underway.
Conclusions about whether the actions of the officers are consistent with department policy and the law will not be made until all facts are known and the investigation is complete. An internal investigation by the Professional Standard Bureau is currently underway, in addition to a criminal investigation. Once the criminal investigation is complete it will then be reviewed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
As you watch the video below, try to imagine a situation in which police could possibly justify the shot to the body of a man who lies bleeding out on the ground. Then try to imagine that the police union-appointed attorney will do exactly that.
Article posted with permission from Matt Agorist
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