PHOENIX — ABC15 has obtained audio and video evidence in the criminal case against the former Phoenix police officer accused of making a threat against Mayor Kate Gallego.
The County Attorney’s office ultimately decided against filing charges, but Steve Poulos is no longer with the Phoenix Police Department.
Poulos' supervisor reported the threat made against Mayor Gallego.
“(He) made the statement, ‘If the mayor defunds the police, I’m going to shoot her,’” he said.
"Hey Steve, you're not going to do that, and he replied, ‘that's a promise,’" said Poulos’ supervisor.
That was disclosed during an interview with the Tempe Police Department, the agency heading the criminal investigation into the threat made last October.
The incident happened during a briefing at the Black Mountain precinct. The squad supervisor, who had only been in the position for three months at the time, confronted Poulos in the parking lot after it happened.
"You can't say what you just said, and his response is, 'someone's gonna do it.' I’m like ‘Steve, you cannot say that.’ It’s like, I’m in the room, five other officers are in the room. I’m like, ‘do you know what type of position you put me in?’ And then he said, ‘it's just a joke, it's a joke,’” said Poulos’ supervisor.
It was a surprise to his supervisor. When asked if he thought his officer would be capable of carrying out the threat, he said, "I don't think so. I mean, we don't really know everybody, but I don't think he would do it.”
The five officers in the briefing that day were also interviewed, all had similar thoughts. "As far as him going through with any threats? No. Him being vocal about stuff? Yes."
One said he, "had frustrations. He says things, sometimes without thinking.”
Another said he, “caught me off guard. I don't know if he was venting or what exactly was meant by it.”
In the end, Poulos decided to retire before any disciplinary action could be taken.