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Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio backs fired police officers; blasts Chief Jeri Williams

Posted at 7:01 PM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 21:26:51-04

PHOENIX — Over the weekend, Phoenix Councilmember Sal DiCiccio put out an 'open letter' defending the two Phoenix police officers fired by Chief Jeri Williams last Tuesday.

DiCiccio wrote in part, "The police officer that was let go; yep he swept his feet. Okay, that's going to happen in a situation like this. For us, to second guess these officers is just ridiculous."

On Monday morning, DiCiccio's office put out another letter titled "Breaking: Phx PD Loves Criminals."

DiCiccio is referencing the Ames family, caught shoplifting, and now claiming excessive force.

In the press statement, DiCiccio speaks as if he is the police chief, saying 'if any of our police use naughty names, I will personally fire them and then skip town right after- I'm the chief I can do those things."

"To go out there and destroy their careers and lives for a political message is downright wrong," said DiCiccio.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association on Friday released a video statement on the union's Facebook page. In the video, the union's president Brit London acknowledges they've received no support from the Phoenix City Council with the exception of DiCiccio.

"I believe Chief Williams is driven by the mayor and council.... we've only had one councilperson that has spoken up for us," says London during the statement.

Mayor Kate Gallego gave this statement Monday morning:

"I support Chief Williams and the work she is doing to make Phoenix a stronger community. The Chief was clear in her message that public safety officers will be held accountable for actions that do not reflect the values of the police department. We are continuing to move forward with modernizations to strengthen the department and community trust."

PLEA says they are considering a 'no confidence' vote on Chief Williams, to which Councilmember Carlos Garcia responded via Facebook saying 'the only no confidence vote I have is on PLEA."

When questioned about the brutality used against the Ames family and officer Swick's derogatory Facebook posts, DiCiccio responded, "Both of them have never once had a problem or blemish on their record and then to arbitrarily fire them, it impacts their family."

The two officers are appealing their firing, and a GoFundMe account has been established to help the officers with their living expenses.

Meanwhile, others are speaking out in support of Chief Williams.

Pastor Warren Stuart has known Chief Williams for a long time. He says Williams grew up in South Phoenix and is a leader with accountability.

"The culture of our police department in the fifth largest city in the nation needs some change and its not going to change without someone making some hard decisions," Stuart said.