Phoenix Pay $3 Million to Settle Whitaker Police Shooting Lawsuit

Phoenix will Pay $3 Million to Settle Ryan Whitaker Police Shooting Lawsuit
Phoenix will Pay $3 Million to Settle Ryan Whitaker Police Shooting Lawsuit

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- The Phoenix City Council has voted to pay $3 Million to settle the Ryan Whitaker police shooting lawsuit.

On 21 May 2020, Phoenix police answered an ambivalent noise complaint that was mischaracterized as a domestic disturbance. It was at about 10:53 p.m. The complainant was desperate to get some sleep. From the 9:11 call, in the 13 August AmmoLand article:

Complainant:

Yeah, and its getting really loud and they been doing it for the last hour. I gotta get it to work tomorrow, and I can’t get no sleep. 

These guys have been noisy constantly… Every time I come back, these guys are noisier than hell.  Always fighting. 

Dispatcher:

Okay does it sound like it’s escalated to anything physical or still just sound verbal?

Complainant:

Oh. It could be physical, I..I could say yeah if that makes anybody hurry up on, get over here any faster.

Dispatcher:

Anything to indicate it might be physical?

Complainant:

I hear slamming of doors and… I don’t know. Somebody could be gettin’ thrown into a door for all I know. But I hear all kinds of banging.

The police go to the apartment. Officers take up positions on each side of the door, well separated. One officer knocks on the door, and announces “Phoenix police”, in a slightly elevated voice.

Ryan Whitaker answered the door, with a pistol held in his hand down at his side. He did so because of previous suspicious activity. It is a prudent thing to do. It would have been more prudent to determine who was outside, before opening the door. The police had moved to the sides of the door, which made them difficult to detect through the peephole.

He was unaware the knock was from the police. The Phoenix City Councilman admitted Ryan did not do anything wrong or illegal.

Ryan immediately complied with police instructions, crouching down and putting down the pistol. One of the police shot him in the back and killed him as he was complying. It happened very quickly.

Ryan’s girlfriend immediately asked the officers: Why did you shoot him!

The Phoenix City Council voted to settle the lawsuit.  From azfamily.com:

The City of Phoenix city council unanimously passed a settlement connected to a deadly officer-involved shooting in Ahwatukee.

In a 9-0 vote on Wednesday afternoon, a $3,000,000 settlement was approved to go to the family of Ryan Whitaker.

Ryan might have lived if the police had immediately called for medical assistance, according to Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio. From Reason.com:

In voting to approve the $3 million settlement, Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio zeroed in on what came next: “We don’t know if he would have lived or not,” he said, according to the local Fox affiliate, “but the fact of the matter is it showed a strong callousness from those individuals that were there to not immediately call for [medical] help.” The outfit describes DiCiccio as “usually vocal on his support of law enforcement.”

Police apologists have claimed it is proper police policy to shoot any person who shows up at their door, armed, even before they have any time to comply with commands.  The slightest indication the police made some attempt to announce themselves is considered sufficient to show the victim knew the police were there.

That is not the actual state of the law or of most police policy or training.

In the original story at AmmoLand, retired firearms and tactics trainer told the author the City of Phoenix would be paying a lot of money because the police officer fired too quickly.  From the article:

I did not tell him any conclusions I had. First, he watched the body camera video from the officer who did not shoot. His conclusion was the video was inconclusive, because we could not see Ryan’s right hand after he stepped back.

Then he watched the video from the body camera of the officer who shot.

He said: “He shot too soon. The Phoenix PD is going to be paying out a lot of money. ”

The retired firearms and tactics trainer was prophetic.

A commenter on the AmmoLand article claimed to be a retired police officer who completed a great deal of training and conducted “some training” from the Phoenix area. He claimed the police were completely justified, that the response was “textbook”. From Gerry:

I spent over 30 years as a police officer, as if that’s anyone’s business. I’ve been to all the training. I conducted some of the training, for that matter, as an FTO. What these cops did was textbook.

If what the officers did “was textbook” in the Phoenix P.D., it is pointing toward the origin of the problem. It is not “textbook” in most police departments around the country.

The investigation continues. No charges have been filed against either police officer at this time.

Police have a difficult job. In a nation of 330 million people, mistakes are bound to occur. Large numbers of police interactions, about 50-100 million a year, mean extraordinary events are certain to occur, because of the nature of reality.

If there were no unpredicted events, there could not be free will. We would all be automatons. Only God is free from mistakes.

No one is perfect. Trust in the police makes all the difference between a civilized society and a police state.

Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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CedTruz
CedTruz
10 months ago

If you can’t arm yourself in your own home without immediately being shot by police as soon as they see you, you don’t have a right to keep and bear arms.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago

More heroic work: Federal agents on Thursday raided one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of ghost-gun parts, a sign that federal law enforcement is cracking down on kits that allow people to make weapons at home. The raid target, Nevada-based Polymer80, is suspected of illegally manufacturing and distributing firearms, failing to pay taxes, shipping guns across state lines and failing to conduct background investigations, according to an application for a search warrant unsealed Thursday after the raid took place. The probe focuses on Polymer80’s “Buy Build Shoot Kit,” which includes the parts to build a “ghost” handgun. The kit, which… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC
KenPCD
KenPCD
11 months ago

“Government is power. Like fire, it makes a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

Mikial
Mikial
11 months ago

Police, serve and protect . . . unless the cop is either so poorly trained as to not know how to deal with a call, or just a prick who wants to kill someone because he knows he can get away with it.

nature223
nature223
11 months ago

hope the cop who shot him gets to die a long and protracted illness..
or better lying on the side of the road in massive pain after taking a hit from a passing motorist, and dying in the dirt like a dog that got struck by a car.
“ooh, we’re just trying to do our job and go home at night”
the cops needed to be fired and charged with manslaughter, paying is admitting guilt.

Commiefornia Sucks
Commiefornia Sucks
11 months ago

Wow, that cop shot way too fast. but the truly disturbing part of the video for me was that cop not letting his GF/wife be with him. that’s fucking horrible! can you imagine being 5 or 10 ft away, watching and listening to your BF/husband dying and told you can’t hold him? good fucking god!

Dee
Dee
11 months ago

Who knows. The neighbor and him could have had some kind of “beef” and was the individual banging on his door earlier and whatever else happened. They should charge the neighbor if they haven’t already. False reports obviously can lead to untrained or not so bright cops killing innocent individuals.

Bubb
Bubb
11 months ago

Great article…like many others who support the police I don’t like to see stupid mistakes like this. Again, failure to clearly let the occupants know who is at the door could have made all the difference, especially his decision to answer the door with gun in hand. Oh well…another hard learned lesson, and I hope that is one department that will change SOPs.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  Bubb

It’s not an SOP/training issue.

3l120
3l120
11 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

It should be for idiots who don’t see who is on the other side of the door before opening it. There is no way I would not use a peephole and if I could not see anyone there, ask who it is. If the deader had done that he most likely would still be alive. Nowadays, the doorbell camera is cheap, cheaper than a casket.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  3l120

Yeah! He deserved being shot dead by an armed government employee for not verifying who was outside his door!

Which agency do you work for?

james
james
11 months ago

No riots in the city after the shooting. If the deceased was not white the settlement would be 10MM.

Dee
Dee
11 months ago
Reply to  james

But there were definitely a protest His brother lead a huge group down to the Phoenix PD. I wish I could have join. When I saw this on Ammoland months ago, I was pissed and agreed with the author of the article. Thank goodness this family got some restitution.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  Dee

It seems some of the most egregious cases don’t get much press. Botham Jean was in his own apartment eating ice cream when Amber Guyger (who was a little distracted with some of her extracurricular activities) shot him. Thankfully, she went to jail, but that didn’t bring Botham back to life. The protests were minimal. The LA LEOs who fired over 100 rounds at the newspaper delivery ladies got more training. Apparently they had not been trained to distinguish between a newspaper hitting the ground and a gun shot. There were no riots and the news story went away quickly.… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC
Dee
Dee
11 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

You’re right. Also Botham Jean family didn’t receive a single dime from the city. Thanks for the comment. It’s not a race or gender issue; it’s a police issue. That’s why I’m for police reform and not necessarily defund the police. Race probably does play a roll more so than gender but overall LEOs need some kind of reform.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  Dee

A lot of people agree with you.

I assume you have watched the Daniel Shaver video?

The whole effort at police reform gets derailed when lies are told and cities burned, stores looted, and innocent people terrorized.

No need to thank me. I support all good LEOs and I believe all LEOs who make terrible decisions should be held accountable.

james
james
11 months ago

Idiot neighbor LIED to get a faster PD response. His own words. He should be charged with false reporting and face a civil suit as well.

Oh. It could be physical, I..I could say yeah if that makes anybody hurry up on, get over here any faster.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  james

The neighbor shouldn’t have done that and there may be some type of civil action against them.

However, the statement was made to a government employee, so they knew the context. The armed government employees that went to location should have had that information. They could have come to the same conclusion you did.

Core
Core
11 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Agreed. The neighbor is definitely liable for a civil suit and led to the man’s death. I liked the days when police had balls enough to not shoot someone armed out of fear. It sounds like a finger was on the trigger to me: sounds like similar cases. He complied and officer jumpy’s finger twitched on his Glock. I blame anti-gun rhetoric for these cases, if more citizens were armed legally and carrying merely seeing someone with a gun should not result in shooting them just because you are a cop. For example: if I were at the mall and… Read more »

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  Core

So frequently the investigation comes back with “more training is required.” It has nothing to do with training. If it did, the training would be: Americans like guns If a person is not expecting company and someone knocks on their door at night, the resident may very well come to the door with a gun That is an understandable and reasonable action on their part It is not their responsibility to identify who is knocking on their door – it is your responsibility to make sure you have identified yourself You don’t get to shoot them, no matter how much… Read more »

3l120
3l120
11 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Why don’t you become a Reserve Officer or Deputy. Then you can see what it is like when shit likes this happens. I know, I know, there is always a reason not to.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  3l120

You are the reason good guys are starting to change their opinion of LEOs.

Please resign. You won’t walk around scared any more and non-LEOs will be safer.

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Every time I read something like what he wrote, I have to remind myself there are a lot of good LEOs out there. Can you imagine if some violent criminal shot a LEO and people referred to the deceased LEO as a “deader?”

Stag
Stag
11 months ago
Reply to  3l120

Why would he want to take a low paying job where he’s required to violate people’s rights? Nah, we’ll leave that to the statists like yourself.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago
Reply to  Stag

Notice how he uses the passive tense – “when shit like this happens.” Internet JBT’s frequently do that rather than saying “that officer made a horrible decision and should be held accountable.” Shit didn’t “happen.” A large percentage of them stick up for each other no matter what (commit perjury, falsify reports, tamper with evidence, stand there and watch while their colleagues do horrible things, etc.). Chauvin wasn’t alone. Brailsford wasn’t alone. I have to believe good LEOs cringe when they see comments like those of 3l120. It would be better for everyone if they responded and indicated they were/are… Read more »

Dave in Fairfax
Dave in Fairfax
11 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

We’ve talked about this before.
How about when an acronym is used that isn’t in truly wide usage, it gets spelled out the 1st time in a comment or article.
I’m going to ASSUME, I hate that, that JBT means Jack Booted Thug.
Thenkewvellymush.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago

I haven’t spoken about it with you. I didn’t realize that was a problem.

Yes, Jack-Booted-Thug.

When I wrote LEO, I was referring to Law Enforcement Officer.

Dave in Fairfax
Dave in Fairfax
11 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

JSNMGC,

Sorry about that. I just re-read what I wrote and realized how it sounded.

NO, WE haven’t talked about it before, you are absolutely right.
I meant the general WE. It comes up every now and then, sometimes with commenters, sometimes with the writers.

Strangely enough, everybody knows exactly what THEY meant when they use an acronym, it may not be quite so clear to their viewing audience. Every now and then I have to ask people to give us a translation the first time they use one.

Sorry about sounding like I was jumping on you for it.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago

Nah – I figured that’s what you meant. I just never saw a discussion about acronyms, but I’m new here. I thought JBT was a fairly common-use term. I understand the desire to avoid excessive use of acronyms, SMPUSMFAYDKWTFTATA.

I’ll strive to comply.

Knute
Knute
11 months ago

Now here we have a good example of how men should act. When they realize they may have made an error, they take responsibility for it, apologize, and move on. This shows learning and integrity. On the other hand, we have those who think that “shit” just “happens”! This shows a lack of honesty and integrity, in preference for just sweeping problems under the rug. This kind of attitude demonstrates why the problem cannot be solved. For it to be solved, it must first be acknowledged as a problem, rather than just ignored. OFC, when humans in responsible positions are… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Knute
Dave in Fairfax
Dave in Fairfax
11 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

JSNMGC,

%-)
I think that LEO is common enough that we all know that one.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 months ago

I couldn’t help myself.

hippybiker
hippybiker
11 months ago

My father admonished me when I was a young man that the less you have to do with the Police, the better off you will be! He was a wise man.

Stag
Stag
11 months ago

Once again government thugs commit murder, keep their jobs, are not charged with a crime, and spend none of their own money or assets paying these settlements.

gregs
gregs
11 months ago

saw this when it happened and thought to myself, let’s see what will happen. now if find out nothing good happened. this was a murder. from the time the victim opened the door to the time he was shot 3 times in the back and was kneeling was 4 seconds. he was surrendering. how this back shooting cop, who was not in fear of his life is still a cop and not in prison is unfathomable. government officials cover up for government employees. this has to stop. there should be civilian oversight on all police shootings and no qualified immunity… Read more »

linkman
linkman
11 months ago

I watched that video something like a year ago. It smelled of a lawsuit and the officer that fired should be brought up on manslaughter charges. Both should be charged for not rendering assistance. The video simply gets worse and worse the longer it goes on. The police not only let him bleed out to death but they also prevented his girlfriend from rendering assistance.

The whole thing is clearly what not to do. People have the right to bear arms in their residences. Ryan wasn’t a threat before or after the shooting.

Grigori
Grigori
11 months ago
Reply to  linkman

Agreed! Plus, three million is kind of a pittance given the fact that the guy did nothing wrong and when you consider five million and higher awards to families of violent criminals who did not deserve one cent.

Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
11 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

It’s called “white privilege”, that is why the payout was less, and why the officer is not being prosecuted for murder.