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Posted on: August 17, 2018

Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Releases Decision on Mesa Police Use of Force Incident

PHOENIX— The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has completed a review of a use of force incident involving Mesa Police Department Officers Glover and Santiago and an armed robbery suspect that occurred on May 16, 2018. The incident was investigated by the Scottsdale Police Department that focused on potential charges of Aggravated Assault due to the fact that at the time a mandibular pressure point was used, the suspect was in handcuffs and thereby “restrained” for purposes of Arizona law.

The review consisted of viewing body worn camera video from multiple on-scene officers from various angles and positions relative to the suspect, including Officers Glover and Santiago, witness statements from officers on scene, including Officer Glover, and an interview with the suspect that confirmed his continued movement while officers sought to search him for the missing weapon.

The totality of the circumstances reveals that the force applied occurred as a result of efforts to affect the arrest of the suspect and to facilitate a search for a weapon used in the armed robbery of a nearby convenience store. The suspect’s interview confirmed he continued to move while officers sought to secure him and search him for the missing weapon. Arizona law permits the use of reasonable force to effect an arrest. Therefore, there is no reasonable likelihood of securing a conviction for Aggravated Assault under these facts and circumstances.

This review does not assess whether the Officers’ interactions with the suspect or use of force complies or not with any applicable Mesa Police Department Policy(ies). A copy of the investigative materials reviewed by MCAO will be provided to the Mesa Police Department for their use in any administrative review.

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