Phoenix Will Pay $3 Million Settlement After Police Shot a Man During a Noise Complaint. The Officers Are Still Employed.
The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday unanimously agreed to pay $3 million to the family of Ryan Whitaker, who was shot several months ago by police investigating a noise complaint and who did not receive immediate medical assistance after the incident.
Taxpayers will be footing the bill. Taxpayers are also footing the bill for the salaries of the cops—Officer Jeff Cooke, who pulled the trigger, and Officer John Ferragamo, who too was on the call—as they are both still employed by the Phoenix Police Department (PPD).
On May 21 of this year, Whitaker’s upstairs neighbor called in a noise complaint: “I have a domestic dispute going on…and I can tell they’re just at each other’s throats down there,” a man is heard saying on a 911 call. “I hear slamming of doors, and—I don’t know, somebody could be getting thrown into a door for all I know, but I hear all kinds of banging.”
They were playing Crash Bandicoot, a video game, according to Whitaker’s girlfriend.
When the officers arrived at Whitaker’s apartment, no noise can be heard coming from the unit—potentially an indication that the complainant exaggerated the perceived danger.
Whitaker answered the door with a firearm at his waist, which he legally owned, and can be seen in the body cam footage immediately getting on his knees in surrender. Cooke then shot him twice in the back.
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