The Phoenix Police Department has fired an officer who drew his gun on an African-American family while responding to a shoplifting complaint, an incident captured on cellphone video that spread widely online and set off outrage nationally.
At least one other officer was fired and several others were reprimanded for their handling of other high-profile cases, Chief Jeri Williams, said at a news conference on Tuesday and in a Facebook post.
She said that in the first case, Officer Chris Meyer had been terminated for the way he responded to the shoplifting call on May 27, an episode that caused “adverse effects on both the Phoenix Police Department and our community.” Another officer who was involved in the case was given a written reprimand, she said.
Chief Williams also announced that 72 employees had been “flagged” for having possible inappropriate social media posts. After an internal investigation, 11 employees were singled out for serious violations of policy, and one of them, Detective Dave Swick, was fired, the chief said.
Nine others who had been singled out were suspended for 8 to 40 hours, and the remaining employee was still being investigated, she said. The rest were given “supervisory coaching,” she said.
“Our officers’ behavior was unacceptable,” Chief Williams said. “I expect them to be respectful, professional and compassionate in every situation and every encounter.”