PHOENIX — A Phoenix police investigation found excessive force allegations were unfounded against three officers who took down, handcuffed, but didn’t arrest, AaRone Fowler.
Fowler complained about officers' treatment when they encountered him on a fight call near 16th and Van Buren streets in March.
According to the police report, the officers told Fowler and his friend Ronald Hall it was okay to leave. Officers then discovered a nearby car was reported stolen and asked the men about it. When the men indicated the car belonged to them, one officer "grabbed onto AaRone to detain him,” adding "he immediately began to resist." The officers forced Fowler to the ground, scraping and bruising his face and body.
“He's still very upset,” said Fowler’s lawyer, Benjamin Taylor. Taylor said they will likely file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department, alleging the officers violated the 4th Amendment.
“He was complying; he was cooperative,” Taylor said. “The police violated his rights by beating him up.”
The officers handcuffed Fowler and Hall, but they released the men after finding the car was registered to Hall. The car dealership had filed a stolen car report after a dispute about vehicle financing and payments. Neither man has been charged in the case.
“More investigation should've been done, and you have to try to de-escalate the situation,” Taylor said.