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Mesa officers to be disciplined in excessive-force case

Man files notice of claim against Mesa PD over excessive use of force claim in May arrest
Posted at 5:10 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 21:23:41-04

MESA, AZ — Multiple Arizona police officers will face discipline for repeatedly punching and kneeing Mesa man Robert Johnson before pulling him to the ground.

Mesa police spokeswoman Irene Mahoney says one officer was given a written reprimand for violating the department’s code of conduct, while a lieutenant sustained a “non-discipline corrective action.”

Both men have since returned to their full duties. Three other officers seen in the video were cleared of any wrong-doing.

"The officers who were there who didn't stop this, they're just as guilty as the officers who were punching him," Johnson's attorney, Benjamin Taylor, said.

The two officers seen on camera punching Johnson have received some type of discipline, but Mesa police would not tell ABC15 what exactly that is, because the officers are appealing it.

"These officers deserve a firing and they shouldn't be wearing a badge," Taylor said.

Pastor Andre Miller of New Beginnings Christian Church, who stood along side Johnson when the situation first came to light, has a different view.

"It's just not that easy," Miller said. "They are humans and humans make errors. They're not robots."

Miller said he's satisfied with some of the changes the department has since made since the incident.

"I believe they're taking proper steps to train all of their officers, all of their command staff," Miller said.

In November, Johnson filed a $2 million notice of claim against the department. Taylor said the Department of Justice is also looking into the case, but he has not yet heard from them.