Phoenix PD's Killer Cop: Lawyer Says Officer Justified in Killing Domestic Violence Suspect -- and His Dog

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chrisman.jpg
Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman
The attorney for the Phoenix police officer accused of fatally shooting a domestic violence suspect tells New Times an officer who witnessed the shooting is a liar.

Craig Mehrens, the attorney for Officer Richard Chrisman, says information in a secondary police report is inconsistent with information provided by Officer Sergio Vergillo -- the other officer at the scene, who witnessed the shooting.

"We already know he's lying," Mehrens says. "Officer Vergillo's version doesn't even make sense. If there was no threat, as he claims, why did he call for back up."

If you're unfamiliar with the case, click here. It's nuts. Based on the initial report, it sounds like Chrisman just went berserk and shot an unarmed man and his dog.




In the initial police report, Officer Vergillo claims Chrisman held a gun to the head of the victim, 29-year-old Daniel Rodriquez, after Rodriquez told him he needed a warrant to be in his house.

"I don't need no warrant, motherfucker," Vergillo says Chrisman told Rodriquez, while holding a gun to his head.

Mehrens says that never happened.

"I don't know why people lie," Mehrens says.

That's interesting -- coming from a lawyer, and all.

Vergillo is also accused of shooting Rodriquez's dog, even though Vergillo says the animal was barking but had not attacked anyone.

Mehrens says the secondary report explains that "a large pit bull became aggressive." He says the animal was a threat and that's why Chrisman shot it -- even though it hadn't attacked anyone.

Chrisman's been charged with aggravated assault. Members of the Latino community have demanded Chrisman be charged with murder and plan to protest Phoenix Police headquarters every night for the next week.
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Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Hopefully this tragedy will be sorted out by attorney Michael Manning, who understands the culture of cruelty that has been going on for years in Maricopa County under MCSO Arpaio and others like Sen. Pearce who think SB1070 is important so that the "handcuffs" can be taken off the police. Folks this is what it looks like -- the police in Maricopa County have NEVER been handcuffed! The "culture of cruelty" being hidden in the many bills written by former deputy sheriffs/police officers, i.e.. Senator Russell Pearce and Rep. John Kavanagh is biased towards law enforcement and AGAINST the people whom they are supposed to serve.

terri d of wilhot az
terri d of wilhot az

I am not too shock to heat that Officer Chrisman's lawyer and the sd-clled 3rd party cop is backing up Chrisman, because he knows that Chrisman's partner was telling the gtruth and wants to discredit him, to help him out. I can believe that the MCDA-(Maricopa County District Affty's office to for now calling it "aggravated assault-when it is clearly a murder of the victim, because to all the Law enforcement are the"BIGGEST GANG IS THE WHOLE UNITED STATES & THE WORLD ALONG WITH THE DISTICT ATTYS--TOO--THEY HELP THEIR OWN WHEN A "HORRIFIC THING LIKE THIS OCCURS. And to let you all know--another reason the DA'S of Maricopa county I consider are corrupt because they mishandle a cse back on Dec 22 08 involving my son, and it is headed by Richard Romley--the main Da, That man only went on shoddy incompleted and non-investigating reports from witness by the Glendale Az police and I do believe that it wa a cover up--a Conspriacy just like this is smelling like, dont let them get away with this one when my son was thrown it to prison mainly for not taking his meds for his mental illness(and charged with the same thing as Chrisman-and Romley threw out over 4 reports tellin he should not send my son to jail and he ignored it like the plague) and that --Mr. Romley took took a statement his bio-logicall father made to the Glendale Policeman--Offfice Landon jr. and that offcier is my book should not have just ook it for batum--he shoul d have investigated a whole lot more and there is a slight but possible chance that my son would not have been sent to prison by Richard Romley, Write and call the Maricopa District atty Richard Romley and complain heavliy to him not to allow the Chrisman cse to stay as it is--It was-first degree aggraved assault and 2nd degree murder--TAKE A STAND!!!

botanybay
botanybay

I think that it's fair to state after his saying "I don't need no warrant MOFO" that he'll eventually get charged with at least 2nd degree murder.

O C D Sara
O C D Sara

Duh thats what lawyers do. And how the hell would you know how old or what the dog was..you also weren't there..all you are doing is saying poor mexican crack head..when the next night 2 children were shot in the same area..I bet you all wanted the cops there..so maybe your priorities should be on gang violence, and wait until the trial is over...not for murder charges..kill shot WAS justifiable..but for the assault charges..Why are you all so quick to believe what the papers are saying about the dog and a calm non threatening suspect but at the same time argue that the charge is not JUSTIFIABLE...which is also in the papers and clearly states that it was. LOL ignorance makes me laugh!

Don't need a warrant, mofo
Don't need a warrant, mofo

"I don't need no warrant, motherfucker". Nice mouth, Officer Chrisman. You kiss your Mom with that mouth or just use it for cleaning the toilet when dinner guests are expected ?Not even I will argue the need for police, and they are supposed to do a job where the term "routine traffic stop" is apparently part of the vernacular, though stopping an unfamiliar car for some infraction only to discover it piloted by a Sunnyslope tweeker with felony warrants, an empty Meth pipe, a fully loaded "9" , and a serious dedication to getting away from you at any cost is something I can't quite qualify as routine."Robbery in progress", "Stolen car", etc. dispatches will at least give you some idea of what to expect upon arrival. But even less "routine" than a blind traffic stop is a domestic violence call. They are considered a priority response dispatch. I can appreciate the caution needed for these calls, especially when your actions might jeopardize the safety of your partner and other folks in the background. So bounding into some trailer house packin' for a Dirty Harry type of confrontation when the situation is under some measure of control; and then insinuating that the subject has sex with his Mother is as stupid a bit of cop work as going into the desert by yourself, shooting yourself in the back and whining that dope smugglers did it. Does Joe Arpaio train every cop in this city ?Craig Mehrens, Esq. is usually on the civilian side of wrongful police shootings; I guees he's expanding his resume'. Guranteed if he was representing Mrs. Rodriguez he'd be screaming for Chrisman's public execution in the Sear's parking lot, Sunday after church. You go, Craig, and by all means double your hourly rate. Hey, this Phoenix, you don't want to set a bad precedent, do you ??? AND PITBULLS ARE COOL FUCKING DOGS !!! If some shit-for-brains cop came in your hut, screaming like a Meth whore with a broken pipe, you would expect your dog to get to barking. too.

Johnny White Man
Johnny White Man

I think they will try to play "The Race Card" on this one. And will try to point out that Officer Vergillo is somehow sympathetic to the suspect(unfortunate victim), soley because the Officer is Hispanic as well. I think he was in his right state of mind at the time of the tragic incident. And I sure as heck, think he knew that he had a duty to do. And he wasn't going to engage in Chrisman's murderous deeds. I'm sure Vergillo knew right from wrong. Which is why he called for back up and wrote the report. Either way, Chrisman is guilty as charged. And shall pay for his heinous acts of malevolence.

Moflynn2007
Moflynn2007

Oh yeah...if officer Chrisman is such a stand up officer....kindly explain why his name is on the brady list !!!!

Mo flynn
Mo flynn

How the heck does Mehrens know ???? was he there ? Isnt he the attorney ...which basically means he is in it for the $$$$. Daniel is family to my husband and his dog was a puppy...6 months old. So...it is not aggressive. Daniel was an un armed youngster who was murdered by the cop Chrisman. Give officer Virgillo the honor he deserves for telling the truth about what happened. Why would he lie ?? He is just one of the very few phoenix polie officers with the conscience to tell the truth......Believe me, it was probably the worst day of his life....he went against the sick, dishonest, brotherhood of liars who will always have another officers back...even when they lie, cheat, steal and KILL.... It has to be stopped. Does attorney mehrens have a son he would like to be shot by one of the power hungry/trigger happy officers that are EXACTLY like Chrisman. Oh wait...didnt mehrens defend officer lovelace who shot an unarmed woman in 2002 ??? I would never pay mehrens for defending such animals. He should be ashamed of himself. The dollar should never ever mean more than a human life !!!!

Johnny White Man
Johnny White Man

Sounded like the rogue cop was being all gung-ho and trigger happy when he arrived on the scene. If I was there as a cop with Chrisman. Hell, I'd be concerned too.

Hope there is some Justice for the family.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Mofo barges into my home and shoots my dog, he BETTER be ready to shoot me next.

GENO
GENO

My assumption as to why Officer Vergillo called for back-up. Wasn't exactly for suspect not being a tthreat to them. But simply because he also dealing with a potentially dangerous cop, who btw, should not be in a uniform. And Vergillo saw that, and was possibly concerned for his own satety and the safety of the suspect.

O C D Sara
O C D Sara

I know you cant change someones intellect online..but you can give them FACTS! Vergillo was on scene and tazed him without co-operation. Vergillo then called Chrisman as back up. After another taze and pepper spray held no affect on the suspect, the next step is justified.. I am very sorry for the mother, but what would should the police do..say please and hold there hands. So Officer dumb#ss was afraid of suspect otherwise he could have handled it by himself...you know Mexican to Mexican..since of course that is what everyone is saying..just a race issue. I can tell you I know understand racism better...im starting to be more sympathetic....to whites!

Copsarecorrupt
Copsarecorrupt

And the next step is not justified!!!!!! If he never presented any harm to anybody, you cant kill him. Being rude, loud, or uncooperative are not reasons to die!!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE COPS/THEYRE MEAN
I HATE COPS/THEYRE MEAN

Kill a man when he is not being a threat, at least not a deadly threat. How does that make sense. Cops are supposed to be trained professionals!!!!!! This Chrisman guy used deadly force when it obviously wasnt necessary. These racist white cops think they have some better understanding of brown people in PHX when in reality they are mean and unfair with the hispanic community. They act like every brown person is a criminal.

botanybay
botanybay

Why'd he call for back-up? Because he just watched his partner blow a guy's brains out for no reason! If I were Vergillo, I'd be worried that Chrisman was about to shoot ME!

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