Grieving mother demands public records from Phoenix Police Dept.

Posted: Updated:
Lorernza Valdez requesting on behalf of her son Lorernza Valdez requesting on behalf of her son
Protestors requesting on behalf of Valdez. Tuesday June 27 Protestors requesting on behalf of Valdez. Tuesday June 27
Police said Francisco Valdez came after officers with a knife. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Police said Francisco Valdez came after officers with a knife. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A woman whose son was shot and killed by Phoenix police officers earlier this year is demanding that the City of Phoenix and Police Chief Jerri Williams release the police reports about the incident.

Lorenza Valdez called the police on March 23, asking for help for her son, Francisco "Paco" Valdez. She said the 24-year-old had been fighting with his brother and was in emotional distress.

When officers arrived at a mobile home park near 67th Avenue and Van Buren Street, Valdez was there but his brother was not. 

Sgt. Alan Pfohl of the Phoenix Police Department described Valdez' behavior as "aggressive," and said he ran to the kitchen and armed himself with a knife which he used to threaten the officers.

[ORIGINAL STORY: PD: Suspect came after officers with a knife in west Phoenix]

In the end, police shot Valdez four times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A few days later, Lorenza Valdez and civil right activist the Rev. Jarrett Maupin held a news conference to demand an independent investigation into the shooting.

Maupin and the family say that this is not the first time that Phoenix police have used deadly force on someone with a mental health emergency, citing the shooting death of a mentally-ill woman killed in her doorway during a mental-health related call.

[RELATED: Woman shot, killed by Phoenix police at apartment complex]

Since then, Lorenza Valdez, the Center for Neighborhood Leadership and Puente Arizona have been asking the city for the records, but have yet to receive them. They believe they are being stonewalled.

They say the Public Records Office of the City of Phoenix has refused to release the report, claiming it is still under “review” and uncompleted.

“It has been over three months since the death of Francisco Valdez, the family has been desperately waiting for answers. How long does it take to file a police report?” asked Viridiana Hernandez, the executive director of the Center for Neighborhood Leadership. She has been working with the family.

In May, Lorenza Valdez addressed the Phoenix City Council to ask for justice and demand changes.

"The way that they took my son's life should never have happened," Valdez said.

[RELATED: Mother of man killed by police addresses city council asks for changes]

Valdez told city councilors her son was not a bad person and that if he did, in fact, act aggressively -- as police have stated -- the officers could have used a Taser.

[RELATED: Police ID officer involved in March 23 fatal shooting at mobile home park]

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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