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Protests sparked in Phoenix following officer-involved shooting of man in parked car

6 months 1 week 4 days ago Tuesday, July 07 2020 Jul 7, 2020 July 07, 2020 6:50 AM July 07, 2020 in News
Source: CNN

PHOENIX, Arizona- Over the Fourth of July weekend, protests in Arizona's city of Phoenix were revived after Phoenix Police fatally shot a man who was sitting in a parked car at a residence. 

According to CNN, 28-year-old James Garcia lost his life when Phoenix police were dispatched to a home for an aggravated assault complaint.

When police arrived, they say a victim told them a man who'd stabbed him during a previous incident was at a nearby residence with a knife and that he was accompanied by another person who had a gun. The victim then directed officers to a house where they found several people, including Garcia who was sitting in a parked car.

While Garcia's family maintains that he did not have a gun and was merely sleeping in his car, police released a statement saying the following:

"Officers talked to the man for approximately 10 minutes, asking him to leave his car so they could secure the scene. He refused and eventually rolled up the windows and pulled out a gun." 

"Officers ordered the man to drop the gun but he refused. The man repeatedly told officers to shoot him and lifted the gun toward the officers. That's when two officers fired their weapons."

Footage from a body-worn camera was released on Monday afternoon and the deadly incident was followed by protests against police brutality in Phoenix on Sunday night. 

One protester, Jacob Raiford, told reporters, "As we continue to see, they're not hearing us, so we are going to be out here every day and we are going to utilize every disruptive, non-violent demonstration tactic that we have in order to make sure that they hear us loud and clear." 

The demonstrations were held outside of a police station and authorities eventually asked the protesters to leave, a directive which they peacefully complied with. 

But tensions between the public and local police remain high. 

In a Facebook post, City Council member Carlos Garcia criticized the police's use of force in the incident and cast doubt on their description of events.

"It does not shock us that despite all the scrutiny from community Phoenix PD continues to respond violently to calls. But, we must all continue to ask for transparency and accountability," he wrote on Facebook.

"The department also issued a premature statement leaving out facts about the case. We cannot allow for dishonest narratives to be built by violent departments. We will continue to call for independent investigations into officer involved shootings."

The protests in Phoenix followed a series of demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality throughout May and June. The movements were sparked by viral video footage of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a police officer while being arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit bill to pay for goods. 

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