Family of Michelle Cusseaux wants independent investigation into police shooting

PHOENIX - Frances Garrett says she just wanted to get her daughter, 50-year old Michelle Cusseaux, some help when she called a mental health facility to pick her up last Thursday.

RELATED: Mother speaks out after Phoenix police shoot, kill daughter

"It started to snowball. Depression, bipolar, schizophrenia," said Garrett.

But Phoenix police say they were the ones who eventually had to serve an emergency mental health pickup order for her daughter after the facility failed to do so following threats from Cusseaux.

Three officers tried to get Cusseaux to come out of her home and eventually had to bring in a sergeant.

Phoenix police say she opened the door and charged at the sergeant with a hammer. The sergeant shot her and she later died at a nearby hospital.

RELATED: Woman shot after charging officer in west Phoenix dies from injuries

"I did not ask for Michelle to become another statistic here, another homicide. I did not call them for that reason," said Garrett.

And now Garrett, along with local civil rights leaders, want more than the standard internal investigation by Phoenix police.

They are calling on Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to carry out an independent investigation with other police agencies too.

"They are responsible for the shooting death of Michelle Cusseaux, so it is unfair and unreasonable," said Garrett supporter Rev. Jarrett Maupin.

During a meeting with Mayor Stanton Monday morning, they asked for a decision on that independent investigation by Thursday.

But an assistant to the Chief of Phoenix police, who was at this private meeting, said no such deadline was set by the mayor.

"He has to wait to find out additional information. He's only received an initial briefing and we'll go from there," said Assistant Police Chief Gerald Richard.

Garrett and civil rights leaders at Monday's news conference said if a decision on an independent investigation is not made by Thursday, they plan on taking the case to the FBI after the internal investigation wraps up.

Print this article Back to Top

Your Region News
West Valley Phoenix Metro Southeast Valley Northeast Valley Northern Arizona Central/Southern AZ