Body camera footage shows Phoenix Police Department officers belittling protesters

The Maricopa County Prosecutor’s Office and the Phoenix Police Department have been repeatedly charged with discriminatory arrests and political persecution in protest cases.

In addition to a controversial challenge coin, ABC15 received a video with a body camera for officers that will only further cement the arguments of community defenders and activists.

Apparently without knowing that a camera was still being recorded, three officers denigrated a group of demonstrators on October 17, 2020 by calling them “idiots” and “asshole children”.

One wondered why the protest team didn’t “stamp on them immediately”.

Another replied: “Gas em. I don’t give a sh ** if we just gas them and let them run like crazy … (inaudible) the sh ** out of them, who gives a sh **? “

At the end of the video, one of the officers calls a citizen – who yelled at her as he drove by – a “damn liberal piece of shit”.


The three officers appear to have played a supportive role in responding to a protest from the small group.

But it is these types of comments – plus the solemn challenge coin that members of the city’s protest response team own, share, and sell – that are at the center of the defense of lawyers representing 18 defendants arrested that night.

“Like the Phoenix police officers who made derogatory and violent statements on the body camera about (Defendants) and the other defendants in this case, this challenge coin represents a disregard for First Amendment rights and a contempt for left-wing protesters who appear to be the Phoenix Police penetrated the department and certainly penetrated the grand jury presentation in this case, ”according to a recent defense filing.

The 18 people arrested on October 17 were charged with street criminals known as “ACAB”.

ABC15 received the Grand Jury Minutes from the case.

The minutes show that Maricopa County prosecutors and a Phoenix police sergeant obtained the gang’s charges of gross exaggeration and outright lies, lawyers said.

Arizona laws regarding criminal street gang classification are broad and require only two of the following criteria to be met: (1) self-declaration; (2) testimonies or statements; (3) written or electronic correspondence; (4) utensils or photos; (5) tattoos; (6) clothes or colors; (7) Other indicators.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Doug McBride, a “grenadier” who heads the Tactical Response Unit and a former gang detective, testified that all members of the group met the criteria for three reasons.

The first is the chant of “ACAB … All cops are bastards,” which he claimed was self-proclamation. The second was most of the group dressed in black, which matches the color requirements. And the third was that many of the group carried umbrellas that McBride claimed were part of their uniform.

McBride’s Tactical Response Unit is under scrutiny as many members have admitted holding a challenge coin for previously shooting a protester in the groin with a pepper ball.

The formulation of the coin has been linked to extremist hate speech.

There is no evidence that the three officers taped on the newly obtained body camera video owned or even knew about the coin.

However, the officials discussed the umbrellas.

One of them said it was a “new trick” that she hadn’t seen and compared concerns about its use to the “penguin” villain in Batman films.

The three officers also complained that they had to wear body cameras.

OFFICER 1: We actually want to do the job like we did 10, 15 years ago. But it will never come back. If they ever came back and said, “Guys, just kick your fucking ass off and cut down on crime.”


OFFICER 1: I’d say ok.

OFFICER 2: So you will not be handcuffed while doing your job. If you say okay, have a bodycam video to see if he hit anyone. I remember when it was so much nicer.

OFFICER 1: I think this (body cam) went down the job.


OFFICER 1: If I had to choose only one thing, there are others, but that’s it.

OFFICER 3: It took so much of our discretion to be cool with people who have like little sacks of drugs and stuff and we would drag it into the ground and say, ‘Hey. ‘

OFFICER 2: Or the meth line?

OFFICER 3: Yes, the whistle.

OFFICER 1: It feels like I’m listening to myself.

ABC15 contacted the Phoenix police on Friday morning after receiving the video. Chef Jeri Williams posted the following answer on Friday night:

“I have been and am an advocate of the great work that is done every day in this department. However, I know that unprofessional, disrespectful and inappropriate behavior tarnishes the badge even by one of our officials, but more importantly, it harms the community of Us have vowed to protect. I will not allow the actions and speeches of any of the 4,000 men and women in the Phoenix Police Department to destroy the trust and credibility of those we serve. If that behavior shows disrespect, you can expect me as the boss, I will quickly and decisively take disciplinary action. “

ABC15 also received this statement from Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher:

“The more information we learn, the more concerned I get. I believe the majority of Phoenix police officers do a great job every day for our community. But it is evident that we have deeply rooted problems in the Phoenix Police Department that are being addressed This department is going to change. I demand it. Chief Williams demands it. And the public expects it. “

This report is part of an ongoing series of ABC15 investigative reports entitled “Politically Charged”. Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at [email protected].

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