Phoenix Police Release Footage From Fatal Shooting That Triggered Protests

July 7, 2020 Updated: July 7, 2020

The Phoenix Police Department released an officer’s body cam video from an officer-involved shooting on July 4 that caused protests.

The video, according to the department, shows police officers speaking with an armed man for about 10 minutes before the shooting. The footage also belongs to an officer who wasn’t involved in the shooting but arrived on the scene to assist.

James Porter Garcia, 28, was identified by activists and Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia as the man who was killed in the incident.

“It does not shock us that despite all the scrutiny from community Phoenix PD continues to respond violently to calls. But, we must all continue to ask for transparency and accountability,” Garcia, the council member, wrote on Facebook Sunday.

The department said in a statement that some claims about the shooting are “misinformation,” suggesting that people claimed officers “shot an unarmed man sleeping in his driveway.”

“The investigation into this shooting is still in the early stages,” said Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, Phoenix police spokeswoman, in a YouTube video. “Releasing body-worn camera [BWC] footage from the officers directly involved before all witness and officer interviews are completed could compromise the investigation.”

In the footage, the arriving officer after Garcia was shot before he was heard saying to other officers, “Where’s the gun?”

“It’s in his lap,” he is told by another officer. “He didn’t let go of it.”

“So we retrieve the gun and get him out and get him out to fire,” the officer stated, referring to paramedics.

Fortune said that Garcia refused orders to get out of the vehicle, rolled up the windows, and pulled a gun.

“The man repeatedly told [the] officer to shoot him and lifted the gun towards officers,” she said. “That’s when two officers fired their weapons.”

Later, the spokeswoman said that other body camera footage isn’t being released to the public because an investigation is needed.

Steven Merry, a friend of Garcia, told Fox10 that he saw the shooting.

“They put the gun on his head like this and they’re still telling him not to move, to get his hand off a gun he [didn’t] have and then they shot him again. They made sure he was dead,” Merry said, according to the report.

Black Lives Matter protesters and other demonstrators accused the department of brutality after the incident.

“We want every single video. The family demands every video, the full 911 call, the dispatching, everything,” Viri Hernandez, an activist, told the news outlets.

Police said that someone called 911 on 1 p.m. Saturday to report a stabbing suspect.

Officers talked to the 911 caller “who pointed out a specific home where he said the stabbing suspect was,” officials said, according to AZCentral. Officers talked to “several people including a man inside of the vehicle in the driveway,” police said.