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Phoenix police release 1st 'critical incident' video

Phoenix Police
Posted at 2:17 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-31 01:03:03-04

PHOENIX — Phoenix police have released the first so-called "critical incident" video that the Police Department says it plans to help provide transparency for the community regarding shootings involving the police.

The 11-minute video posted to the department's Facebook page depicts an Aug. 28 incident in which at least one officer fires shots during an encounter with an armed man who allegedly had been shooting a rifle into the air multiple times from a residence.

The video includes an introduction by Police Chief Jeri Williams, a woman's 911 call reporting the gunfire, excerpts from surveillance video showing the residence and video from two officers' lapel cameras.

The lapel camera video show officers approaching the residence, subsequent gunfire and the man surrendering to police.

"We provide it to the community so they can understand, so they can see what's going on," Sgt. Tommy Thompson said. "We remind them not to jump to any conclusions about what transpired. This is just a matter of being more transparent and getting information out in a more timely manner."

Some community activists expressed concern that the first critical incident video is highly edited and produced. They question whether it presents an objective look at a critical incident.

"That's what they don't understand," Rev. Jarrett Maupin said. "They still want to be the sensor, the reviewer, the authorizer of what's released, and they have forfeited that right."

Maupin pointed out Phoenix police have still not released body-worn camera videos or reports for several controversial officer-involved shootings in the last couple of years. Phoenix police had more officer-involved shootings in 2018 than any other police department in the nation.

Two months ago, ABC15 filed a public records request for all video recordings and reports related to the August 27 shooting. Wednesday, a police spokesman said the full public records would not be released simultaneously with the social media video, and it would take an unknown amount of time to provide the records. A short time later, a second spokesman said it was the department's intent to release everything on the same day.

Late Wednesday afternoon, ABC15 received the police report, surveillance video, 911 call audio, and police dispatch audio. The full body cam video has not been released.

Maupin pointed out Phoenix police have still not released body-worn camera videos or reports for several controversial officer-involved shootings in the last couple of years. Phoenix police had more officer-involved shootings in 2018 than any other police department in the nation.