Protests have spurred in Phoenix, Arizona, following the killing of a Latino man who was shot to death on July 4th by police, while seated in his parked car in a shocking disturbance captured on video by neighbors, CNN reported.
The video has since gone viral showing several uniformed officers surrounding a parked vehicle while shouting and pointing their guns at 28-year-old James “Jay” Porter Garcia threatening him. One of the officers shouted “Hey, stop f*cking moving! I will f*cking shoot you,” as bystanders who watched the scene pleaded, “Don’t shoot him!”
The video was shared by City Councilman Carlos Garcia (not related to the victim.)
Yesterday, Phoenix PD killed James “Jay” Garcia. (Warning video is graphic) this was taken by a bystander. We send our condolences to his family who is mourning his sudden death. 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. The department also issued a premature statement leaving out facts about the case. We cannot allow for dishonest narratives to be built by violent departments. We will continue to call for independent investigations into officer involved shootings.
Posted by Carlos Garcia on Sunday, July 5, 2020
Seconds later, officers appear to have shattered the passenger-side window, followed by the sound of a shout. After a brief moment of calmness, police began rapidly firing on the man from point-blank range about ten times, filling him full of lead.
As officers continued to shout and yell commands at the wounded Garcia, witnesses can angrily be heard in the background shouting at the officers, “That’s f*cked up … What the f*ck!” and “He’s dead, what are you guys doing?”
Garcia was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Phoenix Police Department. Police said the officers fired after the man refused to drop a gun and pointed it toward them. But his sister disputes that he had a gun.
The Phoenix Police Department released video from a body-worn camera Monday afternoon from an officer who arrived on the scene after the shooting. The video showed the officer wearing the camera reach into the car where the man was sitting and lift out a black gun. He then shouts, “Gun is secure.”
Carlos Garcia criticized the police’s use of force in the incident and said he doubted their description of events.
“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,” he wrote on Facebook.
“The department also issued a premature statement leaving out facts about the case. We cannot allow for dishonest narratives to be built by violent departments. We will continue to call for independent investigations into officer involved shootings.”
Video footage of the deadly shooting in the majority-Latino/Chicano neighborhood of Maryvale Village quickly went viral over the weekend, leading to community protests. The incident has sparked renewed protests against police brutality. This comes amid ongoing nationwide protests against police violence across the country that have been under intense scrutiny for the killings of Black and Latino people.
In Tucson, the April death of Carlos Adrian Ingram-Lopez prompted protests in June against the Police Department as details about his death became publicly known.
Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th, thousands of people in Phoenix and across the world have protested police violence against Black people and general police brutality.
Two-state Democratic lawmakers demanded that Phoenix police release all bodycam footage from the incident.
Sen. Martin Quezada and Rep. Diego Rodriguez demanded the Police Department to further publicly release any complaint history of the officers and any other previous shootings they’ve been involved in.
“Releasing the information which we are asking for will not negatively impact the internal investigation in any way, but it would go a long way in establishing a greater level of trust between the community and law enforcement,” Quezada said in a statement.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams announced that she is asking the FBI to conduct a civil rights review of the fatal shooting of Garcia to show an unbiased investigation.
Protests have broken out in support of Garcia, with protesters demanding the release of full body camera video themselves, AZ Central reported.