Was Force Justified in Police Video? - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Was Force Justified in Police Video?


It's video that could cost a Phoenix police officer his career -- a 15-year-old girl is tackled and thrown into a wall. We asked a retired officer if he thought that force was justified.

The video is so controversial -- it's actually been removed from YouTube.

Officer Patrick Larrison is a field training officer. He's supposed to teach new officers how to act on the streets when they come out of the academy. The 6-year veteran of the force was placed on administrative leave when the video surfaced.

Wednesday, the department launched a use of force investigation into Officer Larrison.

Today we showed that YouTube video to a former Phoenix police officer with 21-years experience. Paul Penzone is a former Sergeant for the Phoenix Police Department.

"It's quite shocking to see, and if there were no other factors, I would have liked to have seen less force, like an arm-bar or another type of a restraint," Penzone says.

"We have to be fair and objective to determine what occurred before he got to that point. We know that the girl carried out at least two acts of violence, and once he arrived at the scene, were there any other factors that led him to believe that force was necessary?"

Police say the 15-year-old was drunk at a school and got into a fight with a teacher before getting into another fight with her mom in the school parking lot. The teen was arrested, facing aggravated assault against a teacher, domestic violence against her mother, and threatening to kill an officer and his family.

"You cannot take into consideration that she was female and she was 15 years old. Those things are irrelevant, because I've seen young ladies and men fight and be extremely violent, so they pose the same threat. The considerations are this: was there reason he believed that that strike was necessary to subdue her, why was it that aggressive of a strike?"

This afternoon, the video was pulled from YouTube. The police officers union told us we should let due process take its course -- before judging from a video.

Officer Larrison is a field training officer, but Phoenix Police haven't hired any new officers since 2008. So they're not sure he ever trained anyone.

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