PHOENIX — The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board voted to initiate disciplinary proceedings against a former Superior policeman for conduct exposed in an ABC15 investigation.
The case against Christian Ensley could lead to a suspension or revocation of his peace officer certification.
During its board meeting this week, AZPOST unanimously voted to pursue a case against Ensley for his actions on March 11, 2017.
ABC15 aired body camera footage from two of Ensley’s arrests from that day.
The videos and corresponding records reveal Ensley unnecessarily escalated his use of force, threatened witnesses, and wrote clearly false statements in his reports documenting the arrests.
An attorney for one of the men arrested by Ensley alleges that the officer’s actions could be criminal, according to a notice of claim.
In August 2020, an ABC15 investigation examined how Superior Police had been filled with dishonest and criminal officers on county “Brady” lists, which prosecutors use to track officers with integrity issues that need to be disclosed in criminal cases.
The station’s report revealed how officers can often escape lasting accountability by gaps in mandatory reporting to county prosecutors and AZPOST.
AZPOST is the board that certifies state police officers and has the power to suspend or revoke an officer’s license to work.
Ensley has since left the Superior Police Department is not currently employed by an Arizona law enforcement agency, AZPOST officials said.
According to personnel records obtained by ABC15, Ensley worked at least six Arizona police departments, where he either failed to meet standards, resigned under investigation, or got fired for dishonesty.
In 2010, he underwent a psychological evaluation that noted, “he may be a poor candidate due to his moral self-righteousness, possible adjustment challenges, may be overly sensitive to criticism, and may be rigid and inflexible in his thinking.”
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at Dave@ABC15.com.