Photo: Matt York / AP / Shutterstock / Matt York / AP / Shutterstock
On Saturday, Phoenix police officers fatally shot a 28-year-old man named James Garcia in a parked car. The murder, which was captured on video, has led to further protests against police violence.
The video shows Garcia sitting in his parked car and several police officers surrounding him with weapons pointed at him. Spectators can be heard begging cops to lower their weapons, as an officer yells, “Stop moving, I’ll shoot you! Then, a series of ten shots can be heard in quick succession, even when the cops stop. In front of onlookers who clearly record the incident, Garcia was later taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. None of the responding officers were injured, nor have they been identified.
Witnesses say they saw what the video shows: the police intensified the situation out of nowhere and proceeded to use deadly force. The police department said in a statement that they were on the scene responding to a 911 call that said a man who had recently attempted to kill him had returned with a knife. They said that during that effort, they noticed Garcia sitting in a car and that when they approached him, he armed himself with a gun. Garcia’s sister said in a Facebook post: “Phoenix PD shot my brother who was unarmed sleeping in the car.” Police have not commented if Garcia had anything to do with the person they had called to investigate. A police spokesman on guardian He questioned about any possible connection and replied, “We don’t know yet.” Garcia was reportedly sitting in the driveway of a friend’s house when the police shot him.
Lisa Wagner, the mother of Shawn Hensen, 26, who considered Garcia her best friend, told Arizona Republic Garcia was waiting in the driveway as Hansen prepared to leave. She said she had no idea that the police were outside her home until she heard the shots. “I still think it’s a bad dream and we’re going to wake up and we’re all going to laugh at this,” he said. “Everyone feels like [the police] murdered Jay.
Jamaar Williams, a member of the Phoenix chapter of Black Lives Matter, told the guardian that “there was no justification for what happened”, since García “was locked in a car, alone; he literally had nowhere to go and you are holding him at gunpoint, for whose safety? Who is in danger? Carlos Garcia, a member of the Phoenix City Council, said in a Facebook post: “We are not surprised that, despite all the scrutiny from the community, Phoenix PD continues to respond violently to calls,” adding: “We cannot allow narratives. dishonest to be built by violent departments. “
The case bears some resemblance to that of Dion Johnson, a black man killed by an Arizona Department of Public Safety soldier on May 25 after Johnson was asleep in his car. The FBI launched an investigation into the Johnson case in June. The police officer who killed Johnson claimed he shot only after a fight and feared he would be pushed into traffic, but there is no video of the moments leading up to the shooting. However, there are images from later moments, showing that paramedics on the scene were not allowed to approach Johnson for several minutes while lying on the wounded ground. The arizona Republic reported that in 2018, Phoenix police officers shot more people than any other municipal police department in the country.
On Sunday night, protests were called to demand justice for Garcia and all those who were profiled and harmed by the Arizona police. Protesters also called on the city to post body camera images of the incident. Dozens of protesters gathered at the Maryvale Estrella Mountain police station, where they encountered some 30 police officers with riot gear, according to social media reports. On Monday, the police department released part of a body camera video, but the department said posting the entire video could interfere with its investigation.