Richard Chrisman Hearing: Phoenix PD Witnesses Paint Different Picture of Shooting. Sounds a Little Blue Wall-y if You Ask Us

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chrisman.jpg
Officer Richard Chrisman

In a hearing held yesterday for the Phoenix police officer accused of killing an unarmed suspect last month, two officers who responded to the shooting scene minutes after it happened painted a different picture of the incident than that of the officer who actually saw the shooting go down.

The hearing was to determine whether Officer Richard Chrisman, who not only shot 29-year-old Danny Rodriguez but his dog, too, should be allowed to keep his job while he fights a second-degree murder charge.

When Chrisman was indicted, Phoenix police Chief Jack Harris said he would skip an internal investigation that would determine whether Chrisman would keep his job. Harris said he would meet with Chrisman directly to give him a chance to plead his case as to why he shouldn't be canned.


However, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order, preventing a meeting between the department and Chrisman, which means the department can't fire Chrisman until the judge can re-evaluate the case.

During the hearing, KPHO reports, Officer Eric Rude and Sergeant Sean Mattson -- the two
officers who responded to the scene minutes after the shooting -- testified that they were told Rodriguez was being aggressive, which was the reason Chrisman shot him.



Even in the booking slip the officer who witnessed the shooting describes how Rodriguez was somewhat aggressive, but those critical of the incident believe he wasn't aggressive enough to warrant deadly force -- keep in mind, the guy had no weapon.

Mattson, however, testified, "I was surprised to read the Form IV," suggesting it was different from what he was told happened. Rude claimed to have his own doubts.

"I asked him about why there was things contained in the Form IV that I felt were inappropriate and had nothing to do with probable cause," Rude testified at the hearing. "He told me that the county attorney reviewed the Form IV and dictated to investigators at the scene how they wanted the probable cause statement written in the Form IV."  

The two say they were never asked to testify before the grand jury that indicted Chrisman and first spoke with the county attorney about the case last week.

Frankly, we're not sure why this guy still has a job to fight for -- Chrisman should have been given the boot when he planted a crack pipe on a mentally ill homeless woman. He was only suspended for one day following that incident even though it wascaptured on video, which you can see here.



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10 comments
Jerry Black
Jerry Black

They should fire the chief for letting him stay on the force after the video evidence of the crack pipe. It's his fault for keeping this officer on the force, therefore it is the chiefs fault this individual was killed. Would you let a rabid dog off the leash to attack again?

O C D Sara
O C D Sara

Immunity? from what? why would the say Virgillo please testify against Chrisman and the offer a sweet deal to 2 other officers for saying that Virgillo's a liar? that seems a little off. I agree that it should have been a pin and cuff in most cases, but an officer or civilian even does not stand and wait to see if the suspect is gonna use a weapon, they use theres first! If a man came into my house and I felt threatened I could and would shoot him, and be justified in doing so if i FELT threatened regaurdless if it turned out the person did not have a weapon!

XSoldier
XSoldier

Virgillio was offered immunity or some sweetheart deal from MCAO to testify against Chrisman. So were Rude and Matteson.

I agree that a more thorough investigation needs to be done by an independent agency, like DPS, for example.

The officers may have had reason to believe that Mr. Rodriguez was armed. As soon as they realized he was unarmed, they should have put their weapons away and detained Mr. Rodriguez for questioning.

At most, pinning Mr. Rodriguez and cuffing him for detainment is so far what should have happened. NOT killing him.

I think the MCSO shurf's foul stench is contaminating the Phoenix Police Department.

O C D Sara
O C D Sara

Why do you think he was unarmed? hum cause thats what Vergillo said? After HE tazed the suspect? The dog WAS aggressive, read the reports both first scene officer AND the sergant stated, Vergillo told them the dog was aggressive! She will get paid no doubt about that, but the smell is the burning of a good officers life/reputation! The investigation is NOT complete, the above mentioned officers where NOT questioned until last week, which is way after Cap Harris decided to fire (try) Chrisman. Evidence is not out not only for the public but also for the courts and head officials trying to get there noses clean by this media circus

Teo
Teo

A good officer being burned? Are you nuts? This is the guy who planted a crack pipe on a woman as a "joke".

Kelson53106
Kelson53106

Does anyone know why the other cop stood there and watched all this happen? Could he have talked Chrisman into backing off instead of standing there with his finger up his butt?

whatacrazyworld
whatacrazyworld

He didn't just stand there, he helped, and obviously he was a threat. The only real question here is why did Virgillio decide to paint the situation differently. Remember there has been little, if any, information from the side of anyone other than Virgillio. Maybe he did have a weapon, maybe he was reaching for a weapon, maybe he tried to take an officers weapon. Frankly the only information we have is what they want us to have so they can publicly lynch a cop so their PR is restored in the south phoenix precinct.The very fact that there was no questioning of the other officers until last week proves that they had no intent on finding or caring about the truth; they just wanted an easy example.

XSoldier
XSoldier

ARS 13-404 and 13-405 allows for the use of physical force in specific circumstances.

Not listening to a police officer is not one of them.

If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Rodriguez was unarmed and posing no threat to the officers. Neither was the dog.

I wonder why he was still allowed to be a police officer after the crack-pipe incident.

I also wonder when Mrs. Fernandez will file her notice of claim for millions of dollars in damages for wrongful death.

Sounds like the MCSO shurf's foul stench of corruption is being smelt over at the Phoenix Police Dept.

O C D Sara
O C D Sara

wow, you shouldn't be allowed to comment when you dont even bother with hearing the facts, first of all 2 cops did taze him and he pulled them out of his own stomach WHILE being tazed. I agree there are aggressive cops out there. But just because there are some out there doesn't mean that this is the case. What should a cop do to an aggressive man when physical force, tazing, and pepper spray have no effect..I am pretty sure they dont say..well Mrs. Vergillo we cant help you out he is your problem? No they are TRAINED shot to kill!

david saint
david saint

i dont care how agressive the guy was, he was unarmed and there were 2 fucking cops..your telling me those 2 couldnt have just tased him? After all, isnt that the reason cops have them!!?!!?Im all for them protecting themselves, but ive experienced aggressive cops before, who and i quote "just want to beat the shit out of someone tonight" (scottsdale's finest right there), and its not a stretch for me to believe this guy let his emotions get the best of him...and his buddies are covering his ass.

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