Councilman handcuffed by officer could face charges

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX - A Phoenix city councilman who says police put him in handcuffs because of the color of his skin tells 3TV he may be the one facing charges.

Councilman Johnson made his first public statement since the day of the incident last week in a packed and emotional news conference Tuesday morning.

Johnson spoke about the possibility of him being criminally charged in this matter and about what he says happened early Friday morning.

Johnson said in the news conference, “First of all I’d like to just take an opportunity to thank everyone for coming out here today.”

Johnson was surrounded by political allies, supporters, community leaders and family members as he talked about the now notorious incident when Johnson says he encountered a young Phoenix police officer by the name of Bryan Authement.

Johnson says he was going to check on a neighbor whose house was on fire.

“I can’t express to you the hurt, disappointment and disrespect I feel to be mistreated, abused, pushed and thrown to the ground, handcuffed then threatened to be dragged across the curb by a young man younger than my own children,” Johnson said at the press conference.

With one of his three grown children present, Johnson, a former Phoenix city cop, repeatedly said that he continues to believe that the Phoenix Police Department is one of the finest in the nation. He also says that in the city’s South Mountain, or so-called 400 Precinct, there is a “culture” that allows for incidents like what happened on Friday.

Johnson says, “There seems to be a systematic problem of excessive use of force, mistreatment and overall disrespect for the civil rights of citizens in the 400 Police Precinct.

Tuesday afternoon Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said that in an investigation like this the law requires that everything be looked at.