Richard Chrisman Report Released by Phoenix Police Department: Read It Here

Richard Chrisman, Phoenix cop and alleged murderer of Daniel Rodriguez

The Phoenix Police Department report on the October 5 shooting of Daniel Rodriguez by Officer Richard Chrisman was released today. And there's plenty in it for both sides in this tragedy to make hay out of.

Several officers relate that Chrisman, who has since been indicted on a second degree murder charge in relation to the incident, told them Rodriguez went for his gun, forcing him to shoot Rodriguez. 

(Note: There's a link to the report after the jump.)

But Chrisman's legal counsel at the time, Kathryn Baillie (a lawyer for the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, the Phoenix police union), refused to allow PPD investigators to interview Chrisman following his arrest for aggravated assault.

Chrisman's current attorney Craig Mehrens has contended that the record will eventually show that Rodriguez was armed. Technically, you could say he was. There was a sheathed knife in his right back pants pocket. One never brandished.

Other than that, the only other item that could be considered a weapon was Rodriguez's bicycle, which he was trying to leave with after struggling with Chrisman.

Did Rodriguez use the bicycle as a weapon? Not according to officer Sergio Virgillo, who has alleged Rodriguez was a threat to neither cop, and that Chrisman shot Rodriguez and Rodriguez's dog for no apparent reason.

(You can read the PPD's report yourself, here.)

According to Virgillo's interview at the scene, shortly after he and Chrisman responded to the 911 call placed by Rodriguez's mother Elvira Fernandez, things spun quickly out of control. 

Rodriguez challenged the cops' entry into the trailer. That's when Chrisman allegedly put a gun to Rodriguez's temple, telling Rodriguez they didn't need a warrant, calling Rodriguez a "motherfucker."

A struggle ensued with Rodriguez resisting. According to Virgillo, Rodriguez was pepper sprayed and Tased three times: twice by Chrisman, once with probes and the other time touch-Tased with Rodriguez on the ground; and once by Virgillo.

The Tasings, however, had little impact on Rodriguez, who tore out the probes and got up after each episode.

Chrisman then allegedly shot Rodriguez's dog, which had been barking, but did not attack Chrisman, according to the account. This angered Rodriguez, who then tried to leave the trailer.

"Officer Chrisman shoots the dog," Virgillo told homicide detective Kenneth Porter and deputy County Attorney Jim Keppel, who was also present. "Then Daniel getting upset, having a verbal argument with officer Chrisman about, `Hey, why did you have to shoot my dog?!' And that went on for probably five seconds...At that time I saw officer Chrisman take out his service weapon and...he shot Daniel."

Virgillo said he couldn't remember if Chrisman holstered his weapon between shooting the dog and shooting Rodriguez. He said the bicycle was between Chrisman and Rodriguez when Rodriguez was shot, and that Rodriguez didn't try to use the bicycle against Chrisman.

"From what I remember," Virgillo explained, "when I saw officer Chrisman raise his gun in front of him, I believe Daniel took a step back and put his hands up."

Virgillo told Porter and Keppel that he felt, "This is the worst day of my life."

Keppel, a former superior court judge, asked Virgillo why he felt that way.

"Because it was wrong," he said, "And I also felt that I'm getting sucked into something. That now officer Chrisman's in this trailer. He's going hands on, I cannot leave. Everything is happening so fast. the spray, the Tase...uhm, Daniel walking back. The dog...uhm, and it just, it just wasn't good."

Chrisman and Virgillo did not know each other well. They had never ridden together, but they had responded to the same calls previously.

When pressed, Virgillo recalled one domestic violence call, where a couple had been arguing, and the aggressor had not been established.

Chrisman told one of the parties involved,

"See this face?...Does this look like the face of sympathy to you?"

Ironically, Rodriguez's mother told officer Jose Cisneros that the trailer was hers, but that it was in her son's name. That means Chrisman and Virgillo were attempting to get Rodriguez to leave his own property.

Fernandez admitted that Rodriguez had been violent towards her in the past, and that he'd tried to "choke" her once. She also stated that Rodriguez had been using drugs, though she said she'd never seen him actually use drugs, and didn't know what kind.

"He's been doing [drugs] since he and his girlfriend broke up," said Fernandez. "Which was in March. I noticed changes in him...you know. You're a parent. You can tell."

Fernandez also stated that she had called the police in the past when Rodriguez turned violent, and the cops had convinced him to leave each time. On the day Rodriguez was shot,  they had argued, and he had thrown something at her, making a hole in the wall. She told Cisneros that, "I was afraid for my life."

But she didn't expect that her son would end up dead, just that the cops would get him to leave.

"I let the devil come in my house and kill my son," said Fernandez, crying.

I have no doubt that Chrisman's junkyard law dog Craig Mehrens will parse this police report to death, as is his duty as a defense lawyer. Statements will be taken out of context. And facts will be bent. After all, Mehrens has already moved to send the case back to the grand jury. (The judge's decision on that motion is pending.)

But overall, the report is not good for Chrisman, no matter what PLEA or Mehrens say. Chrisman deserves his day in court. But arguing that this matter should not go to trial, as Mehrens and PLEA are doing, is completely ludicrous. 

Read the report for yourself. There's more than enough probable cause for Chrisman's indictment. That doesn't make him guilty. A jury of his peers will have to handle that.


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18 comments
gumpish
gumpish

"Cop"  Chrisman should be put to death. This was outright murder. Why did the other cop, Virgillo, not protect the People, in this case Daniel Rodriguez. If another man committed murder in front of a cop, the cop would shoot him dead. A clear example that Police cannot be trusted to protect you. Only you, your gun, the Constitution, and your Rights will. I hope the next time an officer attempts to forcefully gain access to a home in the U.S. without a warrant, he is shot dead."And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."-Thomas Jefferson 

CRAZYLEGSDAVIDSON
CRAZYLEGSDAVIDSON

JUSTICE FOR DANIEL RODRIGEZ, & HIS DOG! ALSO FOR HIS FAMILY.

Don't need no warrant, MoFo
Don't need no warrant, MoFo

I'm still not 100% sure who was in the immediate area when the kid got killed.Was it only the two cops Chrisman and Vergillo ? That seems to be the case.I, myself, have been the target of an officer involved shooting. The shooting, at a distance of ten feet with a 40 cal., proved nearly fatal to me. The shooting was an accident, though the officer, for obvious reasons, would report it differently. The cop's initials are A.W. and 7 - 10 are the only clues I'll give in case A.W. reads this. I have never hated on him for what happened. Whether he hates on me or not is up to him.But I can tell you all one thing for sure... cops - all cops - always cover each others asses.So if Chrisman wasn't fucking Vergillo's wife or something then I have to wonder why Vergillo would say what he said about the incident. What was his incentive ? Saying it, if true, would cause Vergillo untold trouble at the cop shop, and might compromise his own safety in a future situation, if he was backed-up by a cop who regarded him a traitor.But if Vergillo fabricated the whole story he told and that was proven true at trial.I would bet you Vergillo would soon be the victim of a... little accident, shall we say.These charges have effectively killed Officer Chrisman's copper career one way or the other, and have ensured success for a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit by Mrs. Fernandez that you can bet your ass will by filed within six months.I go along with Dee and Mr. Lemons... let Chrisman have his day in court. It's not up to us to decide.

Dee
Dee

Thank you Stephen for your factual and honest reporting.

The negative commenters should ALL remember that it was Chrisman's PARTNER, Officer Virgillo that turned Chrisman in and reported the FACTS in the documentation presented to the Grand Jury. The truth is the truth and the facts are the facts.

I agree with you Stephen. Let Chrisman have his day in court and let the Justice system deal with him.

Gabby Asher
Gabby Asher

This makes me really sad because Officer Chrisman was our school police officer when I was in middle school about 4years ago..): He was like one of the nicest people I ever met and he has a little son.): Its just really sad.

ConcernedinAZ!!
ConcernedinAZ!!

I'm not an attorney or in law enforcement. I am merely a citizen of Arizona who has watched the story play out in the media. When an unarmed man gets shot and killed by an armed police officer who also had a taser gun and pepper spray and a backup police officer I am forced to conclude that the police officer is the one who did wrong. (By the way, he also killed the family dog!). We are all human and make mistakes. Chrisman may have valid reasons for his behavior on that day but the fact remains an unarmed man was shot and killed. {I'm not buying the sheathed knife in the victims back pocket as posing a threat to the officer. It was never brandished - therefore no threat!} Chrisman needs to be charged with second degree murder and serve the necessary time. Just my opinion!

Norma
Norma

I guess anyone who doesn't like to read or hear the truth needs to bash someone (in this case, Mr. Lemmons). The word "justice" in Arizona seems to take a different meaning depending on "who" is in hot water. Not only was a human being shot to death, but also an innocent animal who had nothing to do with anything. UNBELIEVABLE!

Sampson
Sampson

The Feathered Bastard strikes again! "Hmmmm how can I crucify Chrisman yet at the same time make it sound like I'm not biased," the thoughts of Stephen Lemons...wanna be New Times Reporter. First lets say that Chrisman's attorney Katherine Ballie refused to have her client interviewed by police after it was told they were investigating him criminally. Maybe if I put the words "refused to allow PPD investigators to interview Chrisman following his arrest for aggravated assault" that will make him sound guilty. No shit Sherlock...what attorney wouldn't do that???? Next lets describe his attorney as a "junkyard dog." However, if Stephen Lemons ever got arrested would he describe his own attorney as a "junkyard dog" or just those of people he's biased on? He does state one thing correctly...this should go to trial. Let the facts come out before a jury of his peers. If he's guilty then let the jury decide, not a "junkyard" wanna be reporters who ran out of Joe Arapiao stories to write on.

guest
guest

well, for my part, I'm not bashing stephen lemons (with one "m" if his byline is to be believed), I'm just taking exception with him being called a reporter. I have a soft spot in my heart for stephen, he's sloppy, unshaven, grossly overweight and likely has a gravy stain on the front of his shirt when he interviews people... all endearing qualities, he's sort of like the "pigpen" character at the new times.

you know what though? it's just as likely as not, that's he's a professional troll rather than the local champion of the mexican people that he's positioned himself as. if he gets transferred to the florida branch of this rag, he'd probably transform himself overnight, into the haitian people's best friend and advocate. Yeah, I think that his fetish with all things hispanic just may have been consciously developed.

whatever pays the bills.

Jeffkunkel
Jeffkunkel

I can't stand Lemons 99.9% of the time. But in this situation, he has a point. Chrisman was completely and totally out of line. It's a shame, Sampson, that you let your feelings about Lemons get in the way of what is some pretty damn clear truth here.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Mr. Sampson, I don't get it. If you differ in opinion and think that Chrisman was justified in using deadly force, fine. That's your opinion. But what value, if any, is there in repeatedly verbally attacking the reporter for simply reporting and expressing his thoughts and opinion, just as you do. Mr. Lemons actually gave Mehrens credit for doing his job thoroughly as a defense lawyer, if you take the time to read the article. You seem to be so hung up on bashing the writer you won't take time to read the words of the article.

Mehrens is trying to get another grand jury because he doesn't like that the first grand jury issued a true bill and indicted Chrisman on more serious charges. There is almost no chance that the judge will allow another grand jury (in my opinion) and the case will go to trial before a jury (which most often acquits police officers) or the court and will be heard. Which is where it belongs. The only thing missing in this incident is that Chrisman apparently didn't have a 'throw down' weapon to justify use of deadly force.

SecretAgentMan
SecretAgentMan

lemmons broke that PLEAs under investigation. broke thing on nazis that killed the white woman walking with the black guy. saved CCS from extermination. wuz 1st to publish the munnel memo. 1st to report on hendershotts vacays to honduras. 1st to expose jtready and russel pearce.

u may not like the way he looks or his opinioons. but lemmons kicks ass. rock on u bastard.

Kungfudoc
Kungfudoc

Did you notice that Vergillo is the one stating all the accusations against chrisman.  Strange how Vergillo would know what was going on in the house as he left because he was afraid of the pitbull then got on his cellphone to make a personal call.   Sounds like Vergillo was afraid of a dereliction report and tried to throw mud to on another officer to appear clean.

guest
guest

here's what wikipedia says about a "reporter":Reporters are one type of journalist. They create reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary film, and the Internet. Reporters find sources for their work, their reports can be either spoken or written, and they are often expected to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good. (everybody knows that wikipedia is the hands-down authority on everything, so the definition above is beyond reproach.)

new times employees are not reporters, they are libtard commentators/cheerleaders, filling space between ads for hookahs, hookers and hydroponic grow systems.

guest
guest

what's with the lemmons thing? are you guys mistaking stephen for jack lemmon?jack lemmon was felix unger, not oscar madison!

Rob
Rob

Since when has Lemons not claimed to be biased?He has an agenda, and so far as I've read, he's been quite open about it.

I don't always agree with it, but so long as he's open about it, I can't complain.

Bashing someone for their bias - when openly stated - is stupid.

Sampson
Sampson

Whoever "guest" is, is absolutely correct...Lemons is not a reporter and the artcile is biased. I LOVE good reporting but this isn't it. To twist a statement to make it look like he "refused" an interview with police, giving the impression he has something to hide is ridiculous. Any lawyer 2 days out of law school will tell a client "do not talk to the police." Then Lemons calls Mehrans a "junkyard dog" for simply doing his job. Pleaseeeeee.....Lemons tries to make it sound he's object but he is really not. Lemons is not a New Times Reporter...why he gets to have his own column is a strange one. Monica Alonzo is a perfect example of a "GOOD" New Times Reporter.

Camel_Toe
Camel_Toe

hate the game, not the playa, yo

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