Dion Johnson's family speaks out as DPS releases report about fatal shooting, info on trooper involved

A news conference was held on July 16 in connection with Dion Johnson, a man who was killed in a trooper-involved shooting back on Memorial Day.

Johnson's family and their lawyer, Jocquese Blackwell, held the news conference in reaction to the 160-page police report that was released.

The Department of Public Safety says Johnson was found asleep in a car that was blocking an on-ramp along Loop 101 near Tatum Boulevard.

Investigators say Johnson had alcohol and a gun inside the vehicle.

According to DPS, Johnson reached for Trooper George Cervantes' gun and that's when Cervantes opened fire, killing Johnson.

Lawyer disputes DPS's account of the incident

"He says he turned his body and put himself in a position as if he was going to kick Cervantes.. he tells Dion in the report if you don't stop resisting, I am going to shoot you. He doesn't say he's going to use his Taser," said Blackwell.

The attorney says there are discrepancies in the timeline and is asking why medics were not allowed to help Johnson for several minutes after they arrived at the scene.

"There is a discrepancy as it pertains to the time stamp in the police report and the time stamp that was on the ADOT [Arizona Department of Transportation] video," said Blackwell. "EMS arrives and EMS is actually there on the scene for a number of minutes and they are not allowed to come and give medical aid to Dion."

Blackwell also claims Cervantes threatened to shoot Johnson if he did not calm down after he was handcuffed.

DPS releases Internal Affairs report on Cervantes

On July 16, DPS officials also released an Internal Affairs report on the trooper involved in the showing death of Johnson.

The document included details of an incident years ago where Cervantes admitted to taking a family puppy. DPS reportedly suspended Cervantes for 80 hours without pay in April 2013. Cervantes reportedly also admitted to harassing his ex-girlfriend at the time.

According to the report, Cervantes admitted to using a department-issued Taser on a family's boxer puppy to stop it from digging holes in the backyard, and that Cervantes stunned the puppy on several occasions between June 2011 and June 2012.

Cervantes was quoted saying "it was just the most quick and easiest method that I could think of."

DPS reprimanded Cervantes for misusing the taser, and Cervantes was also punished for harassing his ex-girlfriend.

According to Cervantes' claims, he learned that his ex-girlfriend has removed him from their account at a wholesaler store, and he became concerned that she would remove his cell phone from their joint account as well. Days later, Cervantes was caught on camera driving his patrol car, in uniform, to his ex-girlfriend's parked car before using a DPS printer to leave a threatening note on her window.

At around the same time, Cervantes was served with an order of protection against him. In April 2013, DPS disciplined Cervantes for inefficiency, insubordination, misuse of state property, failure of good behavior and conduct adverse to the department.

Continuing Coverage


Phoenix Police Department submits investigation of Dion Johnson shooting to Maricopa County Attorney's Office

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Several key elements to the investigation into the death of Arizona man Dion Johnson, 28, were released by the Department of Public Safety on July 13. He was killed on May 25 by a 15-year veteran with the department.