County Attorney speaks about officer involved shooting of Cussea - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

County Attorney speaks about officer involved shooting of Cusseaux

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

It's an issue in the national spotlight, race relations between police officers and the communities they serve.


Here in the valley protests have been underway for more than a week after a mentally ill woman was shot and killed by a Phoenix Police officer.


Civil rights activists say the shooting was unjustified, and are calling for a federal investigation.


On Monday, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery weighed in on the case.


And for the first time we hear from the police union.


After calls for an outside investigation, the Phoenix Police Chief turned the case over to DPS.


The head of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association bothered many rank and file officers.


"What is disappointing to them is the perceived lack of support and confidence from police leadership," said Joe Klure.


Strong words from the head of the police union after Chief Garcia turned the case over to the Department of Public Safety. 


50-year-old Michelle Cusseaux was shot and killed while officers were trying to take her to a mental health facility; police say she had a hammer in her hand when they tried to take her into custody.


"In his 19-year career, this is the only time that Sgt. Dupra has ever had to use lethal force," said Klure.


"If an investigation reveals that a police officer has done something improper, they will be charged," said Bill Montgomery. He warned everyone involved not to jump to conclusions.


"The knee-jerk reaction to call it police brutality is completely irresponsible, you cannot prejudge a case until the investigation is complete, you don't know what other evidence will come along," said Montgomery.


Since the shooting Cusseaux's family and supporters have asked for another agency to investigate the shooting, they're not thrilled by Phoenix Police giving the case to DPS. 


"DPS had a controversial shooting last year cleared by Phoenix Police... we don't feel they made the right choice by going to DPS," said Rev. Jarrett Maupin.


Sometime this week Cusseaux's family is expected to ask the Department of Justice to investigate.

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