The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) announced Monday that two Phoenix Police officers, Nicholas Beck and Eddie Becerra, would not be charged for excessive use of force. In response, Phoenix Police Department (PPD) Interim Chief Michael Sullivan said he did his part by giving the MCAO all the evidence for the case.
“The case stems from a use of force incident on October 27, 2022, that occurred after a subject shot at Officer Becerra and Officer Nicholas Beck,” Sullivan said in a statement emailed to The Arizona Sun Times. “It is my responsibility to ensure an appropriate investigation is conducted when there is reason to believe a crime has been committed. That was done in this case and the investigation was turned over to MCAO for the criminal justice process to continue.”
Additionally, Sullivan said the administrative case is ongoing, and both officers “remain on administrative leave.”
According to the MCAO, the PPD reviewed the footage of the arrest made by Becerra and Beck and submitted recommended charges of aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault against them in December. After reviewing the evidence, the MCAO declined prosecution against Beck because it found his actions were taken before the suspect was properly contained, so there “was no reasonable likelihood of conviction for his conduct[.]” However, the MCAO did determine actions taken by Becerra warranted a criminal charge. Prosecutors presented the evidence against Becerra to a Maricopa County Grand Jury on January 26th, but the jury declined to issue an indictment.
The MCAO requested to release the Grand Jury’s decision to keep transparency on this case and because the incident “received significant media attention.”
As reported by KTAR, the incident occurred at a QuickTrip, where Denman approached the officers to speak to them about an incident, but they told him they had to leave for a call. Denman then pulled a gun and shot twice; one bullet hit the ground while the other hit the side of the vehicle. Then, Denman went into the store and reportedly put his gun on a counter before Beck and Becerra entered the store armed with their weapons. Video of the graphic arrest showed the officers bludgeoning Denman with their weapons. Becerra is seen kicking Denman as he lies on the ground after being handcuffed. The officers are heard shouting expletives and threatening Denman, who was then booked into Maricopa County Jail on counts including aggravated assault of an office and resisting arrest.
After the video of the officers became known to Sullivan, he took “immediate action,” and both officers were placed on administrative leave.
As reported by The Arizona Sun Times, the PPD is taking steps to limit the use of force and focus on de-escalation. Sullivan is behind the proposed policy, which states that the use of force must be “reasonable” and exercised with the “utmost restraint.”
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the PPD for excessive use of force and other issues, which started in August 2021. As of June 2022, the City of Phoenix has spent nearly $2 million for its role in the investigation.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Phoenix Police” by Angel Zamora.
3 Thoughts to “Two Phoenix Police Officers Will Not be Charged for Excessive Use of Force, Maricopa County Attorney Says”
Thank GOD OUR HERO OFFICERS beat the b.s. charges that should have never been in the first place.
For the life of me, I don’t understand how these police officers maintain their sanity on this tightrope of justice. God bless them one and all.
If the “suspect” shot at them, the ideal ending would have been for the “suspect”, who doesn’t mind shooting at other innocent people, to be dead at the end of the encounter. Just my opinion.