Phoenix police release edited videos of alleged excessive force arrest
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Phoenix police released edited body-cam video on Thursday of two officers arresting a man who fired gunshots at their patrol car last month, which has been criticized as excessive force. New surveillance video shows the two officers leaving a QuikTrip near 59th Avenue and Buckeye Road on Oct. 27 and 38-year-old Harry Denman starting to talk to them just outside the front doors.
Video from outside the convenience store shows him continuing to talk to officers as they get into their patrol SUV and go to another call. As they backed out, Denman pulled out a gun, police said. His first shot goes into the ground, but the surveillance video shows him shooting at the SUV, police said. That bullet hit the driver’s side’s floodlight and door frame.
Police say that Denman ran into the convenience store, but there is no video of that. Surveillance video shows Denman inside the QT with the gun in his right hand. He walked across the store and went in between customers, but there was no audio on the surveillance video, so it’s unclear if anything was said. A different camera shows when officers ran in with their weapons drawn. “Don’t (expletive) move!” one officer shouts in the edited body-cam video as they move in on Denman. “Get on the (expletive) ground!” Denman is seen in the video with his hands up, and it’s unclear where the gun is. “Where’s the (expletive) gun!?” one officer shouts. Denman is heard groaning, and one of the officers hits him in the head. They then put him in handcuffs, and the video fades to black.
A second edited body-worn camera from the other officer starts with Denman already in handcuffs and blood on the ground. “I will blow your (expletive) head off, dude,” said one officer. The officers said he found the gun, but it’s unclear in the video where it was.
“I don’t have no problem with you guys,” Denman is heard saying while on the ground, handcuffed. “Don’t (expletive) shoot at us,” the officer replied. “Sorry I was trying to shoot over you,” Denman said. “No, what the (expletive) is that!?” the officer is heard saying. Denman mumbles some more before the video fades to black.
The police also released on Thursday the entirety of the cellphone video, which shows the violent arrest. Part of the video was released on Oct. 31, which sparked national attention into the arrest. The video shows both officers head-stomping Denman and hitting him with their guns. The video also shows an officer kicking Denman in the back while handcuffed. Later in the video, Denman is heard mumbling and saying he was sorry. The cellphone video shows the officers lifting him up and checking his pockets. He’s then taken out of frame, leaving his hat and glasses behind. The video ends.
Both officers have been on paid administrative leave and were from the South Mountain Precinct. One of the officers has six years of service, while the other has less than one year. They’re both on leave. The Phoenix Police Department is conducting an internal and criminal investigation into the officers’ actions. Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan said he wasn’t happy with what happened. “What is depicted in the video is not how we train and is not aligned with the core values of the Phoenix Police Department,” he said.
Denman was taken to the hospital and later released. He was booked into jail on aggravated assault and weapons charges.
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