Tempe Police sergeant under investigation for stun gun incident in restroom

Newly-released body-cam video shows a violent confrontation between a man and Tempe police officers that happened last November.
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 6:57 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZ POST) is investigating a Tempe Police sergeant following an incident in a restaurant bathroom. The sergeant fired her stun gun 13 times in one minute and 16 seconds, according to investigators and body-worn camera video.

The incident took place on Nov. 9, 2022. Police were responding to a trespass call. A man reportedly would not leave a restaurant bathroom. Video shows Officer Daniel Rodriguez spending more than five minutes telling the man to sit down and keep his hands out of his pocket. The man does not appear to comprehend the orders.

The video shows Sgt. Latasha Hampton eventually shooting the man with a stun gun as Rodriguez attempts to cuff him. Later, a third officer, Alex Kitchens, joins the struggle. The video shows Rodriguez and Kitchens struggling with the man and striking him on the head and face before successfully handcuffing him. A state investigator later said the man had meth in his system.

Tempe Police reportedly opened an internal investigation for violations of its use of force policy. The department sent the case to the Mesa Police Department, which completed the investigation and sent it back to Tempe, where the lead investigator concluded that the two officers and the sergeant had violated department policy. But the investigation reportedly lasted more than 180 days, which is a window for internal investigations resulting in discipline. The result is that the officers and sergeant were not disciplined.

Arizona’s Family learned that an anonymous complaint was sent to the AZ POST board, which resulted in the hearing on Wednesday night. The POST board found that Rodriguez and Kitchens did not violate state standards for excessive force. But the board voted to begin an investigation into Sgt. Hampton’s actions with the stun gun.

The Tempe Police Department released the following statement:

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