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Chandler PD body-camera video reveals teen was unarmed when he was shot in the back a second time

Posted at 7:42 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 09:55:11-05

CHANDLER, AZ — A Chandler teen died after being shot twice in the back after running from an officer with a gun.

New unedited video reveals Anthony Cano was unarmed and face down when he was shot a second time in the back.

The full body-camera, which was not released by the Chandler Police Department for two months, shows Cano threw a pistol as he was being shot the first time, before falling to the ground.

Chandler PD also disclosed Officer Chase Babek-Miller fired the shots. Babek-Miller, who has been with the department since 2016, was the lone officer pursuing, then shooting, Cano.

The information came after Chandler repeatedly claimed they were being 'transparent,' and more than a month after they referred the criminal investigation to MCAO for review.

The department initially released a roughly three-minute video, where a commander narrates over edited body camera footage.

The 'critical incident briefing' video, which has become increasingly popular among Valley departments, was not accompanied by the release of the raw body camera, which is how Phoenix PD and other departments operate.

"I don’t think they are being transparent," said Renee Clum, Cano's mother. "They were secretive from the very beginning."

After calls for increased transparency and protests by family and local activists, Chandler decided to make Officer Babek-Miller's full body-camera available.

It shows that Chandler PD did not make any effort in their 'briefing' video to point out where the gun was at the time of the second shot, nor did they show the teen complying with the officer's commands and even apologizing.

"Put your hands behind your back," Officer Babek-Miller can be heard yelling after the shooting.

"I can’t," replies Cano.

"You better get them up there!"

"I can’t…I’m sorry, sir."

Shortly after the shooting, Babek-Miller calls in the shooting and requests paramedics.

"One at gunpoint. Stage fire. Suspect has two gunshot wounds to his back."

Officer Babek-Miller stays on the scene for a couple of minutes, trying to help the injured teen alongside other officers.

"I want to help you," says Babek-Miller.

"Please help me. Handcuff me, hurry!"

At one point Cano and the officer discuss the moments before the shots.

"I was trying to throw the gun away," says Cano.

"Well, I thought you were pulling it on me man. That was f—-ing stupid," says the officer.

"No I tried throwing it so I wouldn’t get caught," the teen replies.

The new video shows the gun is at least ten feet away from where Cano was shot a second time on the ground.

Some police use-of-force experts say a second shot, while it may appear unnecessary, is the result of delayed perception and reaction times. They claim it is fairly common in adrenaline-filled shootings.

"It is right in line with what you would expect as far as human performance," said Lon Bartel, a retired cop and use-of-force expert "Our attention becomes very narrow in those types of event."

Other experts say the second shot, at such close range and without a clear threat, is problematic.

"It looks like when the officer fires that second shot [Cano] is laying on his stomach and the shot is in the back. So, I think that shot will be the focus of the internal investigation as well as the county attorney's investigation," said Dr. Michael White, a Criminology Professor with ASU.

Dr. White also questions why there was such an intense pursuit in the first place since it started with a bicycle light traffic stop.

"I don’t know what risk this individual post that warranted a car chase then the foot chase," said White.

Cano did have an extended magazine pistol.

"That’s why he ran. He knew he shouldn’t have had the gun," said Clum.

He never pointed it at the officer though, and Cano's mother said her son was not a gang member and only recently got the firearm for protection.

"He was being harassed by someone on social media who is also carrying a gun," said Clum. "It’s right to carry state, he wasn’t breaking the law by carrying a gun."

ABC15 has learned Officer Babek-Miller is no longer on administrative leave. A Chandler PD spokesperson says he is on "modified duty" but would not elaborate on whether he still has a gun and is on the street.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office, which has a substantial backlog of Officer-Involved Shootings to review, told ABC15 they received the case for criminal review on February 1 and that "at this time a decision has not been made to expedite the review."

Activists meanwhile are joining the family in calls for action and change at the Chandler Police Department. Another protest is planned outside City Hall on Friday evening.