Phoenix Police Chief Moves To Fire Officer

Published: Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 9:38pm
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The Phoenix police chief has bucked a finding by a use-of-force board and is moving to fire an officer who killed an Ahwatukee man who looked like he was trying to surrender.

Months ago the city approved a $3 million settlement with the man’s family.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association says it’s disappointed by the decision to fire Officer Jeff Cooke. The union also says it will back Cooke through the appeal process.

Cooke fatally shot Ryan Whitaker last year while responding to a noise complaint from a neighbor.

Whitaker answered his apartment door holding a gun. But bodycam video appeared to show him dropping the weapon and kneeling as Cooke fired.

Prosecutors declined to pursue a case against Cooke.

A city use of force board, which includes police, said the shooting was within policy.

But Chief Jeri Williams has decided the totality of circumstances warrant that Cooke be fired.

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