Watchdog group calls for investigation into police shootingPosted: Updated:
The case involving the police shooting death of Daniel Rodriguez back in October 2010 has focused mainly on former police Officer Richard Chrisman.
In a rare occurrence, Chrisman was charged with murder for the on-duty shooting. A jury deadlocked on that charge but convicted him of aggravated assault.
But now the focus has switched to Chrisman's partner, Officer Sergio Virgillo.
In a letter to the AZ-POST, the state agency that certifies police officers, Judicial Watch requested an investigation into Virgillo.
Mark Spencer with Judicial Watch said Virgillo neglected his duties. Spencer said, "Here you had a Phoenix police officer that under oath believed that three serious crimes were taking place in his presence. Instead of engaging and diffusing the situation, he chooses to turn his head and disengage. I don't think that's consistent with the oath of office I don't think that's consistent with what we pay guys for."
Spencer refers to interviews with Virgillo recorded hours after the shooting as part of the Phoenix police internal investigation:
Virgillo "I wanted to retreat."
Investigator: "But you were committed to this, you were committed, you were inside. "
Virgillo: "Correct, correct."
Investigator: "We've Tased him twice, we've OCed him, we've gone hands on, we have resisting..."
Investigator: "We don't walk away from something like that."
Virgillo: "We don't?"
Investigator: "No, we don't."
Virgillo: "We don't do a tactical retreat?"
Judicial Watch also pointed out Virgillo admitted to stepping outside the trailer several times during the encounter with Rodriguez, leaving Chrisman to fend for himself.
Spencer says,"The end result of Sergio Virgillo's tactical retreat strategy is that you have a mother without a son, a police officer in prison and you have Danny Rodriguez dead."
Phoenix police did not investigate Virgillo for wrongdoing even though at least one internal affairs supervisor thought it was warranted. Virgillo is still employed by the Phoenix Police Department.
No one with AZ-POST would talk on-camera but say they have received the request for the investigation and it will be reviewed to determine the next step.
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