DPS releases 911 call, radio traffic and department history of trooper who killed Dion Johnson

Dion Johnson

On July 13, the Department of Public Safety released more information relating to the death of Dion Johnson, such as the 15-year veteran's history with the department who killed Johnson, the 911 call, dispatch logs and DPS radio traffic.

George Cervantes is the trooper and he is on administrative leave, the department said.

The May 25 fatal shooting of Dion Johnson, 28, sparked protests throughout Arizona. Protests in the state were combined with Black Lives Matter protests in response to the death of George Floyd and police brutality.

The Phoenix Police Department described the May 25 incident as it was the investigating agency.


According to the description, Cervantes was patrolling in the area when he saw a car parked in the gore point, or the triangular piece of land between the freeway and the onramp or offramp, and creating a traffic hazard. Johnson was found passed out in the driver's seat when Cervantes made initial contact.

"The trooper smelled an odor of alcohol, saw beer cans and a gun in the vehicle," read a portion of the statement. The trooper then removed the gun from the car, returned to his motorcycle, and requested backup.

Cervantes took the gun out of the car and then tried to arrest Johnson for driving while intoxicated, said Phoenix Police Sgt. Maggie Cox. During the attempted arrest, Johnson grabbed onto the trooper through the open driver-side door, resulting in an altercation.

Police say Cervantes told investigators that during the struggle, he feared he would be pushed into oncoming traffic. He took out his gun and ordered Johnson to follow his commands. Johnson did so until Cervantes was putting his gun back into the holster, that's when Johnson reached for it and Cervantes opened fire, striking Johnson, Cox said.

A second, unidentified trooper arrived at the scene. Both are said to not have been wearing body cams.


According to documents released by DPS, Cervantes has more than a dozen external and internal complaints against him. 

Some complaints consist of him being involved in a "preventable accident." Four of those claims were found "sustained" by the department, meaning, "Sufficient facts exist to sustain a Law Enforcement Merit System Council (LEMSC) Rule violation."

Cervantes had several internal complaints that were "sustained," resulting in him receiving a letter of reprimand and went 80 hours without pay.

Other "sustained" claims against him have to do with the "discourteous treatment of the public or other employees."

Find more on the allegations against him here.


More information related to the deadly shooting was released, such as the 911 call from another driver, dispatch logs and DPS radio transmissions.