3 Phoenix police officers accused of using improper force

FOX 10's Nicole Garcia reports.

- Three Phoenix police officers are under investigation as they are accused of using excessive force during two incidents dating back to May 2015.

The Phoenix Police Department is taking a tough stand against three of their own officers. They've been criminally investigating those officers and the incidents in question were all caught on camera.  In one of the videos from a police body camera, two officers pepper sprayed a homeless woman.

You can hear "You brought that on yourself," on the video.

The body camera video has two officers, Christopher Tiona and Logan Egnor responding to a call about a homeless woman trespassing, but investigators say Tiona and Egnor used excessive force on the woman when they deployed the pepper spray after she refused to move.

In the video you can hear one of the officers chuckling in the background.

In a separate incident in September, a third officer is accused of using excessive force. You can see the incident caught on a surveillance camera at the MetroCenter mall.  

A suspect is throwing landscape lights at the glass doors.  Once he sees police pull up, he lays down and put his hands behind his back.  The officers rush up on him and one appears to start punching the suspect. Investigators say that was improper force.

Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner called both cases disappointing and said the actions of these officers have a negative impact on the department.

"We want people to know it might happen, we are not immune form making mistakes, but the mistake we are not going to make is to look the other way or not come forward and deal aggressively with this and hold people accountable," said Sgt. Jonathan Howard.

The Phoenix Police Department has forwarded the criminal case to the Maricopa County Attorney's office, which could result in those officers being arrested.

The Department is still conducting their internal investigation.

The officers have been moved to non-enforcement positions.

Chief Yahner released the following statement:

“I am extremely disappointed in the actions of these officers. Their conduct has a negative impact on all the positive police work our officers do on a daily basis.  These officers chose to ignore our core values of professionalism and respect as well as policy and training.  The Phoenix Police Department will hold the officers accountable for their actions and will continue to work with the community to ensure trust and confidence in the Phoenix Police Department.”


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