Protesters in Phoenix, Arizona are demanding answers after police officers fatally shot a 28-year-old man as he was sitting in his car in a friend’s driveway. According to NBC News, video of the July 4 incident showed four officers surrounding the car as witnesses yelled out asking for them to lower their weapons.
The footage doesn’t show what happened before the shooting took place. It is also unclear what took place in the car because the driver’s window was rolled up. A loud crash is heard before gunshots began to ring out. The footage also showed the driver’s window shattered before the cops broke the rest of it.
On Sunday (July 5), the deceased man was identified as James Garcia by Phoenix council member Carlos Garcia. Police say they responded to a 911 call alleging that Garcia had a gun and was threatening someone who he allegedly stabbed last month. Police then claim they approached the car and asked Garcia to get out of the vehicle for 10 minutes. He refused and “eventually rolled up the windows and pulled out a gun.”
“On behalf of us and the family, we’re continuing to ask for more information for all the body cam footage to be released. We’re demanding an independent investigation,” he said. “I think what we see oftentimes is that the police get to control the entire atmosphere and what happens around the case. We need to see all the evidence and not pieces of it, like we’ve seen in the last couple of days.”
The FBI will reportedly conduct an independent civil rights investigation, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said in a statement on Tuesday (July 7). She also said that the department will released the body cam footage within 10-14 days.
“I’ve said before and will say again that I don’t fear civilian oversight or investigation of our practices from outside agencies,” Williams said. “While I’m confident in the investigative work done by my team, I recognize the value of an unbiased outside agency in strengthening the public trust into an investigation.”
Protesters have gathered in Phoenix at the precinct to demand justice for the victim and demand that the body cam footage be released. A vigil was held for Garcia on Monday (July 6) night at the home where he was shot.